France's interior minister says security forces shot dead a man who seized a soldier's gun at Paris Orly airport, not long after the same man shot and wounded a police officer during a routine police check. Saskia O'Donoghue reports.
The French Defence Minister has defended the shooting dead of a man who stole a soldier's gun at a Paris airport Saturday. The incident at Orly airport came after a police officer was shot and injured in an attack at a road check by the same, un-named man north of the French capital. The assailant was later shot dead after attempting to seize a female solider's gun at Paris' Orly airport. A French army spokesman described the attack on her as 'extremely violent'. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the woman's colleagues, who killed the attacker, were justified in doing so. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH DEFENCE MINISTER, JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, SAYING: "Her two comrades thought it was necessary, and they were right, to open fire to protect her and above all to protect all the public who were nearby." After the incident, a bomb sweep took place at the airport to make sure the dead man was not wearing an explosive belt... but the Interior Ministry told Reuters nothing was found. A police source described the attacker as a radicalised Muslim who was known to intelligence services... but officials say it's too soon to say if the incident could be called a terrorist attack. 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 Paris's main airport, Charles de Gaulle. 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. A state of emergency is in place until at least the end of July.