Man shot dead at Paris Orly airport

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Description: Members of French anti-terrorist force RAID at Orly airport, near Paris, France, 18 March 2017. According to news reports a person has been shot by Operation Sentinelle anti-terror patrol soldiers at Orly Airport after trying to snatch a soldier's weapon. EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON
 

Security forces have shot dead a man who seized a soldier's gun at Paris Orly airport in France soon after he shot and wounded a police officer during a routine police check.

The man was known to police and intelligence services, Interior Minister Bruno le Roux told reporters on Saturday.

A police source described him as a radicalised Muslim but did not identify him by name.

The country's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation.

The busy Orly airport south of Paris was evacuated and security forces swept the area for bombs to make sure the dead man was not wearing an explosive belt.

However nothing was found, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters news agency.

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

No-one else was injured at the airport.

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

Earlier, a police officer was shot and wounded by the same man during a routine traffic check in Stains, north of Paris.

The incidents came five weeks before France holds presidential elections in which national security is a key issue.

The country remains on high alert after attacks by Islamic State militants killed scores of people in the last two years - including co-ordinated bombings and shootings in Paris in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed.

A state of emergency is in place until at least the end of July.

The attacks would have no impact on a trip to Paris by Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, and his wife Kate, who are due to end a two-day visit to the French capital on Saturday, a British spokesman said.

The soldier whose gun the man tried to seize was a member of the army's "Sentinelle" operation responsible for patrolling airports and other key sites since January 2015 when Islamist attackers killed 12 people at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

It was reinforced after the Paris attacks.

About 3000 passengers were evacuated from the airport, the second busiest in the country.

© RAW 2017

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