Toulouse - French police say that a gunman has freed one of the four hostages he is holding in a bank in the southern city of Toulouse.
French media say that the gunman claims links to al-Qaeda, and police units from other French regions have been sent to the scene.
A police official in Toulouse says one of the hostages, a woman, has been released. The official says negotiations are under way with the hostage-taker.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the subject.
Tensions are high in Toulouse since a shooting rampage by an Islamic radical in march that left three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers dead.