French police: man tried to seize weapon at airport, killed
Travellers walk on the highway to the Orly airport, south of Paris, Saturday, March, 18, 2017. A man was shot to death Saturday after trying to seize the weapon of a soldier guarding Paris\’ Orly Airport, prompting a partial evacuation of the terminal, police said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS — A man was shot to death Saturday after trying to seize the weapon of a soldier guarding Paris’ Orly Airport, prompting a partial evacuation of the terminal, police said.
Authorities warned visitors to avoid the area while an ongoing police operation was underway. Emergency vehicles surrounded the airport as confused passengers gathered in parking lots, and the elite RAID special police force worked to secure the airport.
A national police official said it is unclear whether the attacker acted alone. No information about the slain man or any other injuries was available, she said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
The soldier who was attacked is part of the Sentinel special force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks. The force includes 7,500 soldiers, half deployed in the Paris region and half in the provinces.
Orly is Paris’ second-biggest airport behind Charles de Gaulle, serving domestic and international flights, notably to destinations in Europe and Africa.
The shooting came after a similar incident last month at the Louvre Museum in which an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding the site and was shot and wounded.
Saturday’s attack further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.