Casualties reported in ongoing hostage situation in French border town

ROUBAIX, France (Reuters) – Armed men have taken hostages after gun shots were fired in the northern French town of Roubaix, a police source said on Tuesday.

According to local media, the hostage situation developed from an attempted robbery and are not linked to the Paris attacks from November 13.

“An operation is underway after hostages were taken. Gunshots were fired and the neighborhood has been cordoned off,” the source told Reuters. “A bank director and his family may have been taken as hostages.”

Medical and fire services confirmed that an operation was underway in Roubaix, which is near the border with Belgium, without giving further details.

According to local newspaper Nord Eclair, witnesses heard gunshots around 7 pm. Police arrived quickly and the neighborhood is now closed off.

The same newspaper reports that police has ordered people who live close-by to stay inside their homes.

More to come…