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Primark store in Paris held up by gunmen: 18 hostages freed as three armed men on the run

Published 13/07/2015

French police officers stand outside the Qwartz mall in Villeneuve-La-Garenne after a robbery attempt on July 13, 2015. Special forces evacuated 18 people from a mall near Paris today after gunmen attacked a Primark store inside, in what was thought to be an attempt to rob the shop, police said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
French police officers stand outside the Qwartz mall in Villeneuve-La-Garenne after a robbery attempt on July 13, 2015. Special forces evacuated 18 people from a mall near Paris today after gunmen attacked a Primark store inside, in what was thought to be an attempt to rob the shop, police said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
French police officers stand outside the Qwartz mall in Villeneuve-La-Garenne after a robbery attempt on July 13, 2015. Special forces evacuated 18 people from a mall near Paris today after gunmen attacked a Primark store inside, in what was thought to be an attempt to rob the shop, police said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Police officer stand outside the Qwartz mall in Villeneuve-La-Garenne after a robbery attempt on July 13, 2015. Special forces evacuated 18 people from a mall near Paris today after gunmen attacked a Primark store inside, in what was thought to be an attempt to rob the shop, police said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

18 hostages being held by gunmen in a store near Paris have been rescued by police.

Three gunmen brandishing sawn-off shotguns are now reported to be on the run following what appears to have been a botched robbery attempt.

The incident was an attempted robbery and not terror-related.

It is understood two gunmen entered a Primark store at Villeneuve-la-Garenne.

All 18 hostages are understood to be staff members at the store.

Le Figaro reports that an employee of the store sent a text to a friend saying he was being held hostage.

"Around 6:30 am (0530 GMT), two or three armed criminals went into the Primark store for what we think was initially an attempt at armed robbery," a police source said.

Irish Independent

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