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Man killed when trying to seize weapon at Paris airport

Man killed when trying to seize weapon at Paris airport
  • Man killed when trying to seize weapon at Paris airport
  • EFE

PARIS.- A French female police officer was shot and lightly wounded early Saturday morning by the same individual who was later shot and killed at Orly airport, according to French police sources.

The first incident happened at a police road check near the town of Garge les Gonesse, Stains, North of Paris, at around 06.55 h (05.55 GMT), 90 minutes before the Orly attack on Saturday morning. The driver of the vehicle shot at three police agents, lightly wounding one, as he handed over the vehicle's documents.

According to French channel "BFM TV", the man abandoned a Renault Clio, which had been stolen in the French Department of Val de Marne, and later, after menacing the clients of a bar in Vitry, close to Orly, stole another car, a Citroen Picasso which has been located at Orly airport's parking.

The French minister of interior, Bruno Le Roux, arrived at Orly airport and give a press conference update on the incident, whereby he informed that the second incident, which took place at 8.30h (7.30 GMT) involved a man who was shot dead after he tried to disarm a French Air Force female soldier, a member of the Sentinel special force on antiterrorist duty at Orly airport.

In this updated account, the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also at Orly, stated that the attacker had been unable to steal the soldier's weapon and that the soldier had been thrown on the floor.

Her two fellow soldiers on patrol rushed to her defence and shot the agressor. The Defence minister pointed out the "professionalism and courage" of said soldiers.

During the armed incident, there were no other casualties reported either among police officers nor airport passengers.

The incident took place inside the terminal, Orly South, in one of the departure halls used for French domestic flights.

Faced with the possibility the man could be wearing an explosive vest, other weapons or other explosives, French authorities ordered the evacuation of Orly airport, an operation which was diligently carried out by French security forces, said a French Interior ministry spokesman.

French security forces combed the area and found no explosives.

Airport passengers were evacuated and taken outside the terminal within a police security perimeter, some 200 meters away.

Orly airport remains closed and all incoming flights have been diverted to Roissy, Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG.)

Therefore, flights to Paris today are likely to suffer delays. Some flights at Orly have been unable to disembark and others are unable to take off as the airport remains closed.

Authorities have announced that the French anti-terrorist prosecution office will be leading the incident's investigation.

The individual, a radicalized Muslim, was apparently known to French security and intelligence services.

French authorities have also announced that the Antiterrorist Section (SAT) of the French Criminal Brigade, the Antiterrorist Sub-Directorate of the Judicial Police (SDAT) and the French Intelligence Services (DGSI) have been assigned to the investigation.

President François Hollande has commended the "bravery and efficiency" of the French police and armed forces and stated that France will remain "vigilant". 

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