Two areas in Paris have been given the all-clear, after panic broke out following reports of more gunfire close to where the weekend's terror attacks took place.

Police cleared Paris' iconic Republique Plaza, where hundreds of mourners had gathered, and there was fear and confusion at the scene of one of Saturday's attacks.

In France's 10th arrondissement, near a small Cambodian restaurant and a bar that were the scenes of shooting on Friday night (Saturday NZ time), panic broke out and police moved in with guns drawn, the Associated Press reported.

The two areas are about a 10-minute walk apart, in in the same general area of Paris.


TV3's Europe correspondent Melissa Davies had to cut short an on-air broadcast to Paul Henry, saying people were fleeing the area and the film crew had been told to move on.

Reporting live from outside the Bataclan theatre, Davis interrupted questions from Henry, saying: "Paul we're just getting reports of more shots in the area, so people are actually leaving this site, we're being advised to move on.

"There's a lot of confusion, panic, people are running.

"We're being told to shut down Paul, so ... we've been told to shut down and move on."

CNN reporters Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour were also in the area.

Amanpour described how "everybody came rushing in" to the hotel she was staying in.

"I said, 'what happened, what happened', and they said, 'there's a shooter out there', but there wasnt'."

Davies said there were reports that this morning's scare was a "false alarm", but there was still a strong feeling of fear, suspicion and confusion despite authorities saying there was no threat.

"One of the staff came down and said 'It's all okay, it was a false alarm'...but it was still probably another five minutes and people still weren't leaving. They were checking online, checking newspapers to try and see if that was the case. There's a lot of confusion."

Davies said that while she was filming, a person had approached the live-cross point, where journalists were standing, and said police were evacuating the area. Riot police were seen just up the street and there were reports of a military helicopter above.

Reports later emerged that it was a false alarm sparked but someone leaving a suitcase or a bag in the area, she said.

"When we left the live-cross point I went across the road to a hotel which a lot of people had been running into. They let us down into a cellar downstairs there were about 20 people down there.

"There were some people who were just absolutely distraught, clearly thinking that this was these attacks happening all over again."

CNN's Cooper said he was at McDonald's when he heard the commotion.

"I was walking across the way, whatever it is, the focus of it was about half a block in that direction right where I was before," he said in an interview which was played on Radio New Zealand.

"We walked by three police officers, just as they got some sort of word, they started yelling, they chambered some bullets into their rifles and they took cover, and instantly when the police officer's yelled, this entire place cleared out.

"Another squad of police, about six or seven police officers, moved in from another area and they were all now focused on an area which, like I said, is about half a block to a block away just on the corner.

"We can't say what the actual source of the issue is, but the police were yelling for all vehicles to get off the street, several people who were walking in the street were grabbed by police officers and pulled off the street, and I can tell you right now there are still police taking cover behind several trees and behind several positions.

"But there were hundreds of people in this square."

Amanpour said there were thousands of people in the square at the time, and they were "all cowering inside any open building there, behind vehicles".

"I saw a man who had to take his blood pressure pills, sitting down, people in total panic, as you could imagine."

It is thought the bangs heard could have been fireworks.

Hundreds of people who had gathered at Le Carillon restaurant were seen fleeing in terror after the sound was heard.

CNN's Clarissa Ward told Radio New Zealand that the incident underscored the "abject fear" that was gripping the city,

"Hundreds of people just started running for their lives. There was screaming and shrieking, I saw one woman who had a stroller with a baby in it running for her life, screaming and crying.

"There was a cafe that was open, people had been sitting outside enjoying a drink. That cafe was evacuated in about two seconds flat. There's now overturned chairs and broken glasses all over the floor."

Errol and Dorothy Thomas of Mangere Bridge, Auckland, at Place de la Republique today - just prior to the recent false alarm. Photo / Supplied
Errol and Dorothy Thomas of Mangere Bridge, Auckland, at Place de la Republique today - just prior to the recent false alarm. Photo / Supplied

Errol and Dorothy Thomas of Mangere Bridge, Auckland, are currently holidaying in Paris and today visited many of the areas and memorials set up for the shooting victims, including at Place de la Republique where people had gathered to leave floral tributes, notes and to singing.

"Security is tighter than when we arrived. There's police with guns patrolling amongst crowds. Crazy old world. Europe will see more chaos yet."

However, the couple still felt comfortable negotiating their way around the city, they said.