Gunman holding hostages at jewellery shop in French city of Montpellier

Officials stressed that it was not connected to terrorism or the events in Paris

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The Independent Online

A third hostage crisis is underway in France this evening after a gunman locked himself inside a jewellery shop he had tried to rob with two members of staff.

Officials in the city of Montpellier have stressed that the situation has no links with terrorists or today’s events in the Paris region.

The brothers who massacred 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed in a gunfight with police at a print works in Dammartin and gunman Amedy Coulibaly died after killing four of his hostages.

A spokesperson for the Montpellier police said the attacker has locked himself inside the shop, which has been surrounded.

Local newspaper Midi Libre reported that the city centre has been sealed off around a jeweller’s shop on La Rue du l'Argenterie.

Police usher shoppers away from a jewellery shop in Montpellier where a gunmen was holding staff hostage

Two employees, believed to be aged in their 30s and 40s were locked inside at gunpoint.

Negotiators were in discussions with the gunmen and no shots have so far been fired, Midi Libre reported.

Officials have said that there is no link whatsoever with terrorism or events in Paris but panic reportedly spread through the city centre, where passers-by and shoppers were evacuated from nearby streets and street lights were turned off, leaving it in the glow of emergency vehicles’ lights.

Additional reporting by PA