paris siege school
Emergency services on standby in Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris, after ex-soldier releases children but keeps parent hostage

The school siege outside Paris is over after French police took an armed hostage-taker into custody. The incident passed off without injuries.

The gunman, an ex-soldier, surrendered after releasing all the hostages. Up to six children were released early in the drama, although one parent was held for several hours.

Police teams from the elite Raid force had been negotiating with the lone perpetrator, reportedly a veteran in his 30s. A judicial official said said he lived in Vitry and had no police record.

The man attacked the Charles Perrault schools in the Vitry-sur-Seine commune early in the morning.

French schools are on summer vacation, but many are running summer activities for pupils.

One police official said the man was carrying a gun.

It was the second school siege in France in four months.

In March, a school in Toulouse in southern France was terrorised by a gunman who claimed to have links with al-Qaida and killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers. Al-Jazeera sparked outrage when it said it would broadcast Mohammed Merah's video taping of the slaughter. It later backed down.

Merah was killed after a long standoff at his apartment with the Raid police. His family said they would sue the authorities for his death.