Orly airport: Man killed after seizing soldier’s gun

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A man has been shot dead after trying to seize a soldier’s weapon at Orly airport in Paris, French officials say.

He was killed by the security forces in a shop after the attack in the airport’s southern terminal.

The airport has been shut after what the authorities described as an extremely serious incident.

The man was on a watch-list of radicalised individuals and had been involved in a shooting hours earlier in the north of Paris, officials say.

The suspect in the earlier incident was stopped at a checkpoint and fired at police with a pellet gun before escaping in a car that was later found abandoned in the southern suburbs.

He is then believed to have used stolen another car that was found at Orly airport. The timing of the sequence of events fits, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.

Police at Orly airport (18 March 2017)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionA huge security operation is now underway at the airport

A security operation is continuing at the airport with bomb disposal experts involved and a search for any possible accomplices.

Police say the attacker was not carrying any explosives.

No-one else was hurt in the incident.

Orly – located 13km (8 miles) south of Paris – is the capital’s second largest airport.

Travellers evacuated from Orly airport (18 March 2016)
Image captionTravellers were evacuated from the airport
A man watches the traffic on the highway leading to the Orly airport (18 March 2017)
Image captionThere were huge traffic jams outside the airport soon after the shooting incident
French Police unit secure Orly airport (18 March 2017)
Image captionPolice were quick to secure the airport soon after the shooting

Police have warned people to stay away from the security cordon and people intending to travel to Orly have been advised to make alternative arrangements as all flights in and out of the airport have been suspended.

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Scores of passengers have been unable to disembark from aircraft that landed at Orly as the huge security operation takes place.

The French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the man approached a military patrol in the airport and tried to seize a weapon from one of the soldiers.

She managed to keep hold of the gun, and two other soldiers opened fire on the attacker, killing him.

His motivation is not yet known.

The soldiers were part of Operation Sentinel – involving thousands of soldiers deployed to provide back-up to the police after the Paris attacks of November 2015.

France has presidential elections starting from next month and remains under a state of emergency following earlier attacks.

Witnesses said the airport was evacuated soon after the shooting.

“We were sitting in Hall Three when all of a sudden people started running and telling us to run with them,” Ellie Guttetter, 18, from the US said.

“The people running were passengers and flight attendants. It was pretty chaotic and everyone was panicking – it was scary.”


Source – BBC

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