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Hostage scare in Paris suburb amid raids

An apparent hostage situation in the northwest Paris suburb of Colombes on Friday strained already frayed French nerves, but it did not appear to be related to the terror threat which has gripped Western Europe over the past week and a half.

According to reports on multiple French media outlets, at least two people were held in a post office in Colombes by a a man known to police and with a history of petty crime.

The suspect had called police himself and claimed to be armed and holding three people in post office. French radio network RTL said he also made some nonsensical remarks to the police on the telephone.

According to French television, the man later surrendered to police without incident.

The situation came hours after French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 12 people were arrested in overnight police raids around the capital city as the hunt for possible accomplices to the terror attacks the previous week continued.

Most of the people detained overnight in France were held on non-terrorism related offenses, according to Cazeneuve.

There were also 13 people arrested overnight in Belgium, following a shootout Thursday evening in the eastern Belgian city of Verviers that left two suspects in an alleged plot to attack police dead. Some of those arrested overnight had traveled to Syria recently, Belgian officials said.

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