A man claiming to be a member of al Qaeda has taken four hostages in a bank in the southwestern French city of Toulouse.
According to police the assailant seized the victims in a branch of the French bank CIC and fired a shot after an attempted armed robbery apparently went wrong.
An anti-terrorist unit is now said to have sealed off the area which is the same neighbourhood from where a young al Qaeda-inspired gunman killed seven people including three soldiers and three children back in March.
23-year-old Mohammed Merah was later shot dead by police after a siege.
Get a different perspective
Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.