Hostages held by armed passport thieves

2nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

CARPENTRAS, France, Nov 2 (AFP) - Three armed men broke into a regional government office in the southeastern French city of Carpentras on Wednesday, briefly holding 17 people hostage before making off with 1,500 passports, police said.

CARPENTRAS, France, Nov 2 (AFP) - Three armed men broke into a regional government office in the southeastern French city of Carpentras on Wednesday, briefly holding 17 people hostage before making off with 1,500 passports, police said.

The three masked men slipped into the building as a cleaner arrived before sunrise, and took her hostage along with the deputy prefect, his wife and other staff as they arrived at work.

The men escaped around an hour later, on two motorbikes, after stealing 1,500 blank passports from a safe.

Some 80 police officers backed by a helicopter were carrying out road checks across the region to track the thieves down.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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