A man and woman have been confirmed dead following reports an armed intruder has taken at least 70 hostages in France.
Residents claim that at around 9:45pm local time a man armed with a knife and sawn-off shotgun forced his way into a retirement home near Montpellier.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the home in Montferrier-sur-Lez houses at least 70 monks.
A female supervisor and a male colleague are believed to have died in the attack.
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The situation was still ongoing after 11pm with a local police source commenting:
A supervisor inside the building raised the alarm very discreetly.
There are fears that two people have died – a man and a woman. The gunman is being hunted.
Following shots being heard and reports the manager had been bound and gagged, anti-terror police surrounded the building.
The Independent has reported police have so far rescued around 60 residents, but the gunman is still believed to be at large.
The mayor of Montferrier-sur-Luz, Michel Fraysse said:
A large number of security forces, firefighters and ambulance personnel are at the scene.