Woman with a backpack barricades herself inside French bank and threatens to blow it up

A woman has barricaded herself in a bank in southern France, threatening to blow up the building, local police say.

The woman is reportedly 60 years old and entered the bank in in Alès, in the Occitanie region, wearing a backpack, at around 9.30am local time.

The Credit Lyonnais (LCL) bank has been evacuated and police have surrounded the building.

The woman walked in ‘without any specific claim or specific terms, and said that she had a bomb in her bag and was ready to blow everything up,’ a police source told Le Figaro.

It has not yet been confirmed if the woman is carrying explosives.

Local media reports that an elite special forces unit has been deployed to the area and video footage shows the area cordoned off.

The LCL bank is located in the Ales town centre, and is surrounded by other banks, cafes and shops.

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