An unidentified man tried to seize a firearm from a French soldier at the airport and shots were fired by the French military in the ensuing altercation.
A man attempted to grab a weapon from a military patrol at Orly airport’s southern terminal early this morning close to a check-in desk.
Benoit Brulon, a spokesperson for France’s anti-terror patrol force, said: “It was then that her comrades opened fire to protect her and people around”. He also reportedly carjacked a vehicle, before setting off for Orly, one of the country’s busiest transport hubs. A Koran was found on his body.
The man has been identified as 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, from France.
A witness known only as Dominique said earlier: “I heard shouting and I saw the soldiers who were holding a person”. The suspect’s father and brother have also been arrested, according to law enforcement sources, though it’s not clear if they will be charged. An evacuation of the terminal was ordered after the incident. Hundreds of passengers were trapped aboard flights that had just landed.
France is still in a state of emergency after a series of terror attacks, including the November 2015 massacre in Paris and a truck attack in Nice, in July previous year.
Flights have been suspended at both terminals and some incoming flights are being diverted to Charles de Gaulle. The anti-terrorism unit of the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office was investigating the attack, the statement said. It said the attacker had a record of robbery and drug offences.
More than 230 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in France since late 2015. Those searches targeted people with suspected radical leanings.
Investigators are now searching for “clues, stories, and images” pertaining to the suspect and incident, France’s interior minister said.
Two shootings in Paris that ended in Orly Airport are connected, Paris police say, and prosecutors have begun a terror investigation into the freakish incident.
Police fired back. He fled in his auto. That traffic stop at 6.50am was at Garges-les-Gonesse, north of Paris near Le Bourget airport.
The woman said she then headed to a lower floor to warn other passengers and staff to evacuate the terminal because she believed a shootout was likely.