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Man shot dead after seizing soldier’s gun at Paris Orly airport

Passengers wait amongst emergency vehicles at Orly airport

Security forces shot dead a man who seized a soldier’s gun at Paris Orly airport on Saturday and a police officer was shot and injured in a separate incident north of the French capital, the French Interior Ministry said.

A bomb sweep took place at the airport to make sure the dead man was not wearing an explosive belt, but nothing was found, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters.

“The man succeeded in seizing the weapon of a soldier. He was quickly neutralised by the security forces,” Brandet said.

A police officer was also injured after being shot during a routine road check in an earlier incident in Stains, north of Paris.

The man was the same individual and was a radicalised Muslim known to authorities, a police source said.

“A police road check took place in Stains (northern Paris) this morning at 0700. It turned bad and the individual shot at the officers before fleeing,” one police source said.

“This same man – a radicalised Muslim known to intelligence services and the justice system – then took a Famas (assault weapon) from a soldier at Orly’s southern terminal … before being shot dead by a soldier.”

The incidents come weeks before France holds presidential elections. The country remains on high alert after attacks by Islamic State militants killed scores of people in the last two years and a state of emergency is in place until at least the end of July.

Around 3,000 passengers were evacuated from the airport, the second busiest in the country.

Flights were suspended from both terminals of the airport and some flights were diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport north of the capital, airport operator ADP said.

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