Security forces shot dead a man who tried to seize a soldier’s gun at Paris Orly airport on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of the busy airport and putting security back in the spotlight in the middle of France’s presidential election campaign.
The man, identified as a 39-year-old radicalized Muslim who was already on the radar of police and intelligence services, had earlier shot and wounded a police officer with an air gun after a routine traffic stop north of Paris, officials said.
With the country in the throes of a highly-charged election campaign after two years of attacks on civilians and public targets by Islamic State militants – several of them in Paris – the anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.
A police source identified the man only as Zied B. and said he was known to the police for theft and drug offences.
An army spokesman said he was shot dead after a struggle with a female soldier on patrol in the airport terminal after he had earlier shot and wounded a police officer with an air pistol during a police check on the opposite side of Paris.