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18 evacuated after store robbery

Eighteen people have been safely evacuated after an armed robbery attempt on a suburban clothing store in Paris.

The gunmen, who broke into the Primark store in the town of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, are still at large.

Police surrounded the shopping centre and cordoned off the neighbourhood, adjacent to the Seine River about 6 miles north of central Paris.

Police are hunting the attackers in the area.

The assailants entered the store at around 6.30am. Several people were already inside, primarily employees.

Officers from a special police unit entered the store, and a few officers emerged later accompanying women reported to be store employees, according to images broadcast on BFM television.

There was no immediate sign of a political or other motive for the robbery.

The Paris region remains on high alert after Islamic extremists attacked a kosher supermarket and satirical newspaper offices in January, leaving 20 people dead including the attackers.

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