Hostage taker surrenders outdoors French financial institution, all six captives unhurt

LE HAVRE: A gunman who took six folks hostage in a financial institution in northern France on Thursday surrendered to elite police after a six-hour operation to free his captives.
The hostage-taker, a 34-year-old with a historical past of mental illness, emerged slowly from the constructing sporting a balaclava and together with his palms turned palms-up, earlier than officers with their weapons raised moved in and handcuffed him.
All the hostages had been unhurt, although in shock, stated Denis Jacob of the Alternative police commerce union.
Bomb squad officers acted after the person instructed officers there have been explosives in a bag. He had been armed with a handgun, a nationwide police consultant instructed Reuters.
The man initially took six folks hostage. Five had been subsequently launched and the sixth taken to security after the person was arrested, in keeping with Jacob.
The hostage-taker was believed to have Islamist sympathies, two police union officers stated, however there was no official affirmation of this.
Militant assaults have shaken France lately, with 4 cops killed in an October 2019 knife rampage in Paris and 130 folks killed by coordinated bombings and shootings within the capital in November 2015.
Yves Lefebvre, head of one other police union, SGP Unite, stated the hostage-taker in Le Havre, a city of round 170,000 folks on the English Channel, was identified to regulation enforcement authorities and on a safety service watch listing.
“We know that he has been radicalised and suffers a severe psychiatric sickness,” he stated.
Another supply, a senior police official, stated that in the course of the incident the person spoke in assist of the Palestinian trigger. He walked out of the financial institution with what gave the impression to be a green-coloured flag draped round his shoulders.
Police had cordoned off the world across the financial institution on Boulevard de Strasbourg, a large thoroughfare within the centre of Le Havre.
An worker at a Burger King outlet about 100 metres from the financial institution stated police had instructed them to lock an entrance on the identical road because the hostage-taking however not ordered them to close.
When the fifth hostage was freed, a person in a pink shirt could possibly be seen in Reuters tv footage being led away from the financial institution by a police officer in full protecting gear.
“Very proud and grateful,” former prime minister Edouard Philippe, now Le Havre’s mayor, wrote on Twitter in reward of the police.
The hostages had been seized in a department of Bred bank, a mid-sized lender, on the bottom flooring of a six-storey residential constructing.

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