Two gunmen who held five hostages in a paris bank after an abortive robbery got away in the early hours of Friday (28 February) morning after a 10-hour police siege.
GV Police and photographers waiting in street
MV Armed police (3 shots)
MV Window of bank
MV Armed police crouching behind car
MV EXTERIOR Bank
MCU Armed policeman
MV Police waiting alongside van
MCU Police carrying weapons (2 shots)
MV and SV Waiting police and newsmen (2 shots)
MV NIGHT SHOT Entrance of bank lit up by photographer's lights as siege ends (2 shots)
GV NIGHT SHOT Bank
Initials CL/2207 CL/2216
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Background: Two gunmen who held five hostages in a paris bank after an abortive robbery got away in the early hours of Friday (28 February) morning after a 10-hour police siege.
They drove off in a fast car supplied by the police still holding three hostage -- al women -- and a two-million-franc (200,000-pounds-sterling) ransom.
The gunmen evaded a police-car chase, and later the three women hostages -- one of whom is pregnant -- were found unharmed.
The drama began on Thursday (27 February) afternoon when the gunmen took refuge in the branch of the Societe Centrale de Banque after they had killed a 55-year-old bank clerk and lost one of their own number shot dead during an unsuccessful raid.
More than 100 police surrounded the bank in the Avenue de la Republique after the shooting. Then, in telephone negotiations with the police, the gunman demanded the ransom and safe passage in exchange for the lives of the hostages.
A number of deadlines for the exchange passed by until the police eventually supplied a getaway car. However, the gunmen's demand for two sawn-off shotguns and a 'plane to fly them out of France were not met.
When the gunmen drove away with the women hostages, bystanders jeered and yelled insults at them.