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Man arrested after taking woman hostage in Paris shop overnight

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By Euronews  with AFP
Policemen and members of the French Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI) unit stand outside a hardware shop, where two women are held hostage in Paris, Dec. 20, 2021.
Policemen and members of the French Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI) unit stand outside a hardware shop, where two women are held hostage in Paris, Dec. 20, 2021.   -   Copyright  JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

A man who had kept a woman hostage overnight in a Parisian shop was arrested on Tuesday morning.

The incident, at a hardware store in Rue d'Aligre in Paris' 12th district, started at around 15:30 on Monday, according to police.

Two women were initially held hostage but one was freed in the late evening with police stating at the time that "negotiations are still ongoing".

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Twitter at about 08:15 on Tuesday that "the hostage-taker has been arrested. No one was injured".

The hostage-taker is a 56-year-old man who identified himself as a former Tunisian magistrate known to police for having harassed a local doctor at her surgery, according to a police source.

After breaking into the shop he had first asked to "speak to the Minister of Justice", Eric Dupond-Moretti, according to the two police sources.

The justice minister's entourage said that "the minister obviously informed negotiators that he was at their disposal."

He also met, at his request, with Sylvie Noachovitch, the lawyer of former gardener Omar Raddad, convicted in 1994 of the murder of a rich widow, Ghislaine Marchal, in Mougins. The court ordered last Thursday to relaunch the investigations into this case, the first step before the review of the trial.

"He admires her a lot and thinks she is a very good lawyer," a source close to the investigation told AFP.

The Paris prosecutor's office said an investigation had been opened into the case, including the charge of "kidnapping", and that it had been entrusted to the 12th district police station.