A man who claims to be a member of al Qaeda has taken several hostages in a bank in Toulouse, south west France.
The man fired a shot and is holding four people, including the bank manager, after an attempted armed robbery apparently went wrong, UNSA police union official Cedric Delage said.
An anti-terrorist police unit is on its way to CIC bank on Avenue Camille Pujol, he added.
The bank and surrounding area have been sealed off.
In March, three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three French soldiers were killed by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman in Toulouse.
Mohammed Merah, who police claim carried out the attacks, was shot dead by police following a 30-hour siege.