Two gunmen in Paris seized seven hostages during a bank hold-up on Monday (8 September) and demanded a three million franc (GBP300,000 sterling) ransom while police with sharpshooters surrounded the building that is situated in the centre of the city.
GV Bank through trees
SV Sign on wall "Avenue de Breteuil"
SV Police cordon around area
SV Police organising crowd of sightseers
SV Police van parked in road
SV AND PAN Police outside bank
SV Police chief talking to men
GV Unused barriers and police vans
SV Policeman with back to camera
GV AND ZOOM BACK Bank building and Policeman moving photographers back
SV Police erecting barriers
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Background: Two gunmen in Paris seized seven hostages during a bank hold-up on Monday (8 September) and demanded a three million franc (GBP300,000 sterling) ransom while police with sharpshooters surrounded the building that is situated in the centre of the city.
The gunman - both unidentified - broke into the bank just after midday and set a 6 p.m. (17.00 gmt) deadline for payment of the ransom. The deadline passed without serious incident, although the gunmen did open fire at one point on a senior police officer who climbed a leader to try to look inside the bank - a branch office of the French Credit Industrial at Commercial group. The officer was not hit.
But in the evening, the gunmen were reported to have broken out of the bank after a 10-hour siege. They took with them three of their hostages and a three million franc (GBP300,000 sterling) ransom. Police cars and motorcycles chased the getaway car eastward.
The car, a light-coloured Peugeot saloon, had been provided by the French Government at the gunmens' request. They had earlier threatened to kill their hostages if they were not given the money and the car. One of the hostages they took with them was a woman.
The Police quickly found the car, and inside it the woman hostage. The gunmen appeared to have switched to another vehicle with the two remaining captives. There was no immediate report on the condition of the woman hostage.
The gunmen later freed their other two hostages, and the police said that the total ransom was higher than originally stated, more than 4 million francs-worth.