6 hostages released after Paris siege – police (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

6 hostages released after Paris siege – police (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
A siege in a Paris travel agency office has come to a close with the release of six hostages, but the suspect is reportedly still at large.

Local media reports suggest that the incident was a botched robbery attempt.

It started at approximately 6:30 p.m. Friday when the man, who was reportedly armed with a handgun, stormed the Asieland agency on Boulevard Massena, in the 13th Arrondissement.

On its official Twitter account, the Paris police force asked people to avoid the area.

Negotiators were called to the scene.

Reuters reported that the travel agency has been held up before and is particularly popular with Asian customers who deal in cash transactions.

Shortly before 9 p.m. local time, Paris police tweeted that the standoff had ended after police intervention. They said six people were evacuated from the office, but the gunman was not among those who came out.

AFP has reported that he fled the scene.

"There were two different floors, a ground floor and a basement,” Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13th Arrondissement, told reporters.

“The employees were afraid that the robber would still be there, which was not the case. Everyone was released but the robber has not yet been arrested."