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Paris shopping centre evacuated following reports of a gunman 

Police have called off the search for a suspected gunman in Paris after concluding it was a false alarm. 

Armed police and soldiers were scrambled to the ‘Les Quatre Temps’ centre at 9.30am after a worker claimed to have seen a masked man carrying a rifle.

Shoppers were evacuated with their hands up as police searched for weapons, while nearby schools and offices were placed into lockdown and train stations closed.

But after two hours of searches turned up nothing, officers were told to stand down. 

‘The search of the location has ended,’ the local police department tweeted. ‘The cordon will be lifted. 

‘At this stage, no suspect or individual has been identified by police at the scene which corroborates the report made earlier today.’ 

Offices buildings, schools and the shopping centre which had been locked down will now be reopened.

Metro stations which were closed during the alert will also be reopened, and trains will begin stopping there again. 

People will also be able to move freely around the La Defense district, having previously been told to stay in place and comply with police instructions. 

The shopping centre contains around 230 shops and employs hundreds of staff.

Around 200,000 people typically work in the wider La Defense district, though numbers are currently lower due to coronavirus. 

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