French police detain armed man who prompted hotel evacuation

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A French official says an armed man who had sparked a brief nationwide panic by barricading himself inside his hotel room in southern France and refusing to pay his bill was suffering from mental issues and has been detained.

An official close to the investigation said Wednesday the man was taken into custody Tuesday night after police entered his room. They found a knife but no explosives. The official was authorized to speak but not to release his name, as is customary in France.

The incident at the hotel in Bollene, 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Avignon, had alarmed authorities. It came less than a week after a Tunisian man in a rented truck smashed into a holiday crowd on Bastille Day in Nice, killing 84 people and wounding hundreds.