Paris incident: Armed man takes hostages

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Police swarmed a building in Paris on Tuesday, saying a man had taken two people hostage.

The motive for the attack was not clear but incident did not appear to be terrorism-related. One of the hostages is reportedly a pregnant woman, and another is "severely injured", according to a witness.

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A police source said the hostage-taker initially hit one person who was able to escape.

A street in the French captial has been closed off as police cordon the area.

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The man reportedly asked for the Iranian embassy to be contacted but the police did not confirm the report. However, his motivation for such an encounter was unknown.

A major police operation is underway in the city's 10 arrondissement near Gare Du Nord train station after a man entered the building just after 4pm local time (12am AEST), BFMTV reports.

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Witnesses said the man claimed to be in possession of a gun and bomb. Police swept vehicles in the area with a device but found nothing, he said. "His demands were really vague and incoherent", said an interior ministry official.

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