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Man takes hostage at French school: police

Special French RAID intervention police secure a street where a man has taken an adult hostage in a school in Vitry-sur-Scene near Paris July 10, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – Elite police cordoned off a nursery school south of Paris on Tuesday after an armed man took an adult hostage. A judicial source said the intruder released the hostage after a few hours, but Luc Poignant, a police officer at the scene, said the armed man had not yet surrendered.

“We’re not sure what he wants but what is clear is that he doesn’t want to give himself up,” said Poignant.

Nearby buildings had been evacuated and police had established contact with the hostage-taker, Pierre Dartout, a local government prefect, told reporters.

Another police official said the man had entered the premises in Vitry-sur-Seine, on the southern edge of the capital, shortly before opening time.

He was apparently aged 30 or so and some of what he was saying to police was “incoherent”, the policeman, Ludovic Monier, said.

Last month, a 26-year-old man with a record of psychological problems was shot and arrested by elite police in Toulouse after taking several hostages and claiming to be a member of al Qaeda.

Toulouse was also the city where an al Qaeda-inspired gunman, 23-year-old Mohamed Merah, was shot dead by police after killing three soldiers, three Jewish children at a school, and a rabbi.

(Reporting by Brian Love, Gerard Bon and Chine Labbe; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Published Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | 03:39 AM

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