Armed men who took hostages on Tuesday in the northern French town of Roubaix appeared to have no link to the Nov. 13 attacks by Islamist militants in Paris but were probably planning a robbery, police sources said Tuesday.
“This is apparently not a terrorist attack, it’s apparently a robbery,” one police source said.
France remains on high alert after the Nov. 13 attacks in and around Paris in which 130 people were killed.
The source had earlier said that armed men took hostages after gun shots were fired in Roubaix.
“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.
The mayor’s office said the suspects “carried out a robbery” after which they took hostages. A special police unit has been dispatched, the office said.