Hostage negotiation

UPDATE 10:00 a.m.

Police in riot gear on Tuesday surrounded the entrance of a building in central Paris where a man was holding at least two people hostage, French authorities said.

There was no indication of a terrorist motive, police said.

More than a dozen heavily-armed police officers, firefighters and rescue workers were stationed outside the building where the hostages were being held, located in a crowded neighbourhood in the centre of the French capital.

The area was evacuated and the street, rue des Petites Ecuries, was cordoned off.

Police would not immediately confirm whether the person holding the hostages was armed or describe the nature of his demands. They declined to confirm French media reports that the hostage-taker wanted to hand a letter to the Iranian ambassador, or reports that he was holding three people and that one had been injured.

Negotiations with the suspect were taking place, according to an Interior Ministry official who couldn't be identified because the operation was in progress.

Police initially said the hostage scene was unfolding in an office in the building, but soon stopped communicating details to journalists.

UPDATE 9:40 a.m.

Updated reports indicate one hostage is "seriously injured" after being hit with a wrench, the hostage-taker has allegedly told police.

The other two hostages, which may include a pregnant woman, are in good condition.

A journalist for BFM Paris said two hostages had been taken at an advertising agency's office near Gare du Nord Eurostar station.

ORIGINAL 8:39 a.m.

Police say a man is holding two people hostage in an office in central Paris.

A police operation is underway. There is no indication of terrorist motives.

Police said Tuesday they could not confirm whether the man was armed. They declined to provide more details.

Videos and images from the scene posted on social media show police officers outside a building in central Paris's Petites Ecuries street.

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