- 10 updates
French prosecutors have dismissed any al-Qaeda connections to the gunman who took four people hostage in a bank in Toulouse today.
Prosecutor Michael Valet said the suspect, who claimed he was acting for religious reasons, had confused religious views:
French police have arrested a man who took hostages in a bank in the southwestern French city of Toulouse, two police sources said.
The man, who had claimed to be a member of al Qaeda, was arrested after police launched an assault in which he was injured.
The man, known to police for a record of petty offences and psychological problems, has released two female hostages after receiving food and water this afternoon, police sources told Reuters.
"The man has made clear that he is not acting for money, but for religious reasons. He want us to make that message clear," Prosecutor Michel Valet told reporters.
French police said that a second hostage has been released from the bank in Toulouse where a gunman seized four people, according to Sky News.
The Daily Telegraph's Paris Correspondent Henry Samuel has tweeted:
A self-proclaimed al-Qaeda gunman who is holding hostages in a bank in Toulouse is acting out of "religious conviction", a prosecutor has told the Associated Press.
A self-proclaimed al-Qaeda militant who seized four people in a bank in Toulouse, France, has released one of the hostages, French police have told the BBC.
Officials said the man demanded money from the bank but when they refused, he fired a shot and hostages were taken.
A French elite police unit has arrived at a bank in Toulouse to begin talks with a self-proclaimed al-Qaeda militant who is holding several hostages, according to Sky News.
A man claiming to be an al-Qaeda militant, who has taken hostages in a French bank, has fired a shot and could be holding up to four people, according to sources.
In March, an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman shot dead three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse. The man was later shot dead by police after a standoff at his home in the city.
A man claiming to be a member of al-Qaeda has taken several hostages in a bank in the south-western French city of Toulouse, a police union source said.