19, March 2017
Flights have resumed at Paris’ Orly Airport one day after a man was shot and killed while attempting to stage a shooting attack. Officials announced on Sunday that schedules at Orly, which is Paris’ second-biggest airport and serves domestic and international flights, were returning to “normal.”
On Saturday, a 39-year-old French national identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, carrying a petrol can in his backpack, grabbed a soldier’s gun and fired shots before he was gunned down by security forces. One soldier was reportedly slightly wounded in the incident, but no one else was harmed. Severe chaos was also caused in flight schedules for several hours following the shooting.
French anti-terror investigators, who took into custody Belgacem’s father, brother, and cousin following the incident, released the father but held the other two as they sought to build a profile of the assailant. An autopsy is to be carried to determine if the attacker was under influence as a small amount of cocaine was found during a search of his apartment in a northern Paris suburb.
Police said Belgacem had had a record of criminal activities and had been known to authorities. Since September last year, he had been under judicial monitoring. He had also shown signs of radicalization, although there was no indication immediately that he had traveled abroad.
The Saturday shooting comes as France remains in a state of emergency over terrorist attacks. The emergency state was initially imposed in November 2015, when terrorist attacks in and around Paris killed 130 people and injured 350 others. The emergency rule has been extended several times because the French government believes the risk of terror attacks remains high.