Would-be robbers took eight people hostage in a bank south of Paris on Tuesday, but all were released unharmed during several hours of negotiations with authorities, and the gunmen were arrested, police said.

Police with guns drawn were seen going into the bank although no shots were heard. They were later seen leading out two people, their heads hidden under jackets.

The holdup was at a branch of the Credit Lyonnais bank at a wholesale food market in Rungis, a southern suburb of Paris, near Orly international airport and about 7 1/2 miles from the city center.

The would-be robbers initially took eight people hostage, but almost immediately released one — a woman — and she alerted police, said Patrick Trotignon, a police spokesman.

The other hostages were released in small groups during negotiations with police.

The hostage-takers agreed to turn themselves in on condition that their faces be hidden as they were led out of the bank, Trotignon said.

"They wanted money but their ambitions exceeded their abilities," he said.

Police in bulletproof vests cordoned off the area, keeping TV crews well away.

The market claims to be the largest in the world for fresh produce. The bank is one of about 20 grouped together in an area known as "the money wall" by market employees, market spokesman Philippe Stisi said.

The market sells about 1.8 million tons of fresh produce a year, he said.