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Gunmen flee after holding 18 workers hostage at Primark in Paris

Three gunmen are on the run after holding 18 workers hostage in an attack on a Primark store near Paris.

According to reports, police evacuated 18 people from the Qwartz shopping centre in Villeneuve-la-Garenne in the northern suburbs of Paris this morning where three men - one of which is believed to have been an employee himself - were holding up the shop. They entered the Primark after 6am, as employees arrived for work.

A police source said: “[At] around 6:30am, two or three armed criminals went into the Primark store for what we think was initially an attempt at armed robbery.”

A staff member managed to raise the alarm by text messaging her boyfriend. The gunmen later fled the scene, reportedly without harming any of the hostages.

Another police source confirmed officers from the Parisian anti-terrorist squad were on the scene and none of the hostages had suffered any injuries. Police are now combing the local area to try to track the men down.

The hold-up comes after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, when two Islamist brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, killed 11 journalists and staff at the satirical magazine.

Two days later Amedy Coulibaly took 19 people hostage in a kosher supermarket in Paris as he demanded the Kouachi brothers not be harmed.

He killed four Jewish hostages before anti-terrorist police stormed the supermarket and killed him.

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