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Man arrested after hostage taking at French bank.

A man who took four people hostage in a bank in the south-western French city of Toulouse was religiously motivated, according to the prosecutor dealing with the case who spoke just minutes before the man was arrested on Wednesday.

The hostages had been taken late in the morning but the man was arrested late in the afternoon on Wednesday after police launched an assault in which he was injured, according to police sources.

Speaking just before the arrest the Prosecutor Michel Valet said the hostage-taker who had previously claimed to have been inspired by al Qaeda was acting from religious conviction.

The incident is the latest drama to hit the Toulouse region since a young al Qaeda-inspired gunman shot dead three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in March.