A gunman who says he is with al Qaeda is holding four people hostage at a bank in France

A gunman who says he is with al Qaeda is holding four people hostage at a bank in France, police said Wednesday.

French police are at the scene of the hostage-taking in Toulouse, France, where the gunman has fired at least one shot, authorities there said.

The incident is taking place the CIC bank in the southern French city, they said.

Police union spokesman Christophe Crepin said the incident was an armed robbery that went wrong. The hostages are the director of the bank and three employees, he said.

Elite police are on their way to the scene, Crepin said.

A local real estate agent said police told her to stay inside and keep the doors locked, she told CNN.

Marie Cluzaud, 28, said she was scared but that she had not heard any noise connected to the hostage-taking.

Streets are blocked off, she said.

The incident is taking place several hundred yards from the scene of a standoff between police and a suspected gunman earlier this year that ended with the gunman dead.

In March, police cornered Mohammed Merah, who was wanted in the killing of seven people. He was killed March 22 by police after a 32-hour standoff at a Toulouse apartment.

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