Culture

Paris’ Orly Airport Was Evacuated After Security Kills A Suspected Terrorist Who Seized A Soldier’s Assault Rifle

French security shot and killed a man at Paris’ Orly Airport in what authorities are treating as a possible terrorist incident. The suspect, who had been on a watch list of “watch-list of radicalized individuals” according to BBC News, was involved in an incident with police earlier in the morning before making his way to the airport and stealing an assault rifle from a guard to initiate the incident.

The shooting prompted a partial evacuation of the airport according to the New York Times, forcing flights to be diverted while police swept the terminal for any possible hazards connected to the would-be gunman. According to The Washington Post, the incident mirrored a February shooting at the Louvre where an Egyptian man was left “heavily wounded” after attacking Sentinel soldiers outside of the museum. Saturday’s incident featured a far deadlier conclusion:

The man, who was known to police and intelligence services, then proceeded to hijack a car at gunpoint in another nearby suburb, Le Roux added, before continuing on to Orly, where he grabbed an assault rifle from a security officer on duty. The Paris prosecutors’ office said its anti-terrorism section has taken over the investigation.

The stolen car was recovered near the airport, French authorities said.

At about 8:30 a.m., the man — whose identity has not been disclosed — then stole a FAMAS assault rifle from a heavily armed officer and hid in a shop in the airport’s south terminal, Interior Ministry officials said. Officers then fatally shot him.

France’s Operation Sentinel was devised in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, featuring “10,000 soldiers” according to The Washington Post that act as a special force patrolling the Paris region — mainly in “tourist destinations and commuter hubs.” Eyewitnesses on the scene describe the effectiveness of the group, defusing the situation swiftly despite the suspects success in obtaining a weapon.

The incident is the latest facing France since the nation declared a state of emergency following the horrifying Paris attacks in November 2015 and comes in the midst of the country’s presidential campaign, with the first vote taking placing on April 23rd according to the New York Times.

(Via New York Times / The Washington Post)

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