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Attacker Dead In Paris Orly Airport Shooting

Travelers Today       By    Sheobi Anne Ramos

Updated: Mar 20, 2017 05:00 AM EDT

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paris attack, orly airport shooting
Man shot and killed after attack at Paris Orly airport
French President being interviewed about the incident.
(Photo: Al Jazeera English/Youtube/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCX1N4nA5A4)

Paris and other parts of France are still on high alerts after an assailant tackled a police officer at Paris Orly Airport, with motives suspected to be related to terrorism. The suspect, identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem by the French Police, was shot dead by officers stationed at the Orly Airport.

Belgacem reportedly went to the airport Saturday morning, carrying a weapon and a can of gas with him. At the South Terminal, he attempted to wrestle a gun from a stationed female Special Forces soldier and apparently shouted, "Put down your guns. Put your hands on your head. I am here to die for Allah. In any case, there will be deaths."

After a few minutes, the other officers present in the area found an opening and shot the assailant dead. No soldiers were hurt in the encounter.

Although it's still not known whether Belgacem was acting along or part of a group, the French Intelligence reported that his madness actually started way earlier in the day, when he injured a police officer at a traffic stop when he was flagged for driving without headlights and speeding. The incident happened at 6:55 am near Stains in Paris.

Belgacem was a person of interest to the French government because his house was included in the search of November 2015 when a suicide bomber killed more than a hundred people in Paris. Aside from that, he also did time for nine counts of armed robbery and drug trafficking.

Since November 2015, France has been in a state of emergency following several terrorist attacks including the terror-related incidents during January on that same year. Security patrol on public places such as airports and train stations have been tripled since then.

"I want to salute the courage and the exceptional behavior of the security forces who managed to put away the individual and to do so in an extremely complex situation because this occurred in Orly Airport," said President François Hollande in a news conference. The incident is still currently under investigation.

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