Hostage Situation In France Post Office Has Ended Without Casualties

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 09: Police mobilize with reports of a hostage situation at Port de Vincennes on January 9, 2015 in Paris, France. According to reports at least five people have been taken hostage in a kosher deli in the Port de Vincennes area of Paris. A huge manhunt for the two suspected gunmen in Wednesday's deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine has entered its third day. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Source: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Just when the dust was beginning to settle in France, another incident has disrupted the healing. An armed gunman took multiple hostages in a post office near Paris, but the suspect has already surrendered himself to the police after negotiations. Authorities believe he was equipped with a military-grade firearm from Russia, and have not been able to confirm yet whether or not the siege is an act of terrorism. 

Around 12:00 GMT a man believed to be armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a gun, and several grenades stormed the Aragon post office in the French suburb of Petit-Colombes, which is northwest of Paris. The BRI tactical response unit was dispatched to help law enforcement at the scene. It is unclear at this time how many hostages were taken total, but after negotiations began, two of the people held were released and the assailant turned himself in.

According to BFM TV, who was citing an anonymous source, the incident was not linked to last week's attacks in Paris. Police told the Telegraph that the situation was not related to terrorism. They said the man was already known to police and had in fact contacted authorities himself during the siege. Local Socialist MP Alexis Bachelay told the paper that the man was carrying out an "armed robbery."

Agence France-Presse reported that the man called emergency services and claimed that he was "heavily armed with grenades and a kalachnikov."

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A source told the news outlet that when the man called, he was "speaking incoherently," but no shots had been fired. According to France Info, the suspect is "mentally unstable and acted after failed relationship." 

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