French Police unit (Raid) secure the area at Paris' Orly airport following the shooting of a man by French security forces yesterday. -AFP
A radicalised Muslim on a terror watchlist opened fire on three police officers at a road check before attacking a soldier at a Paris airport. The gunman launched his first attack after being stopped at a road check north of the city early this morning, shooting a policewoman in the head.
He then threatened a woman motorist with the gun before stealing her car and driving to Orly airport. In the airport terminal the attacker assaulted a patrol of three counter-terrorism soldiers, wrestling one of them to the floor and trying to take her gun.
The man was then shot dead by patrol officers as they attempted to protect the women soldier and members of the public at the airport, according to France's Interior Ministry.
Bruno Le Roux, French Interior Minister said:"At 8.30am a man tried to attack a Sentinelle patrol in Orly in order to take the weapon of one of the female military. He didn't succeed and he was neutralised."
Operation Sentinelle was launched after the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015 and has seen 7,500 armed soldiers deployed on the French streets - half of them in Paris.
Around 3,000 people were evacuated from the airport and flights were diverted while swat teams and the bomb squad cleared the area. A police source said the man was "a radicalised Muslim known to intelligence services and the justice system".
Police warned the public to stay away while the bomb squad searched the terminal to check the man had not planted any explosive devices. Flights have been suspended at both terminals and some incoming flights are being diverted to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The policewoman was said to have been "lightly injured" by the shotgun attack at 6.55am local time and a spokesman for the Interior Minister said there had been no reports of any other injuries.
Franck Lecam, who was at the airport when the attacker struck 90 minutes after the first incident, said: "We had queued up to check in for the Tel Aviv flight when we heard three or four shots nearby." He added: "There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled."
It comes as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on the second day of their visit to Paris, where they will today meet survivors of the terror attack at the Bataclan in 2015. They are also expected to watch this afternoon's Six Nations rugby match at the Stade de France, where thousands of rugby fans will be gathering.
French authorities have said the incidents would have no impact on the Royal visit. Paris Aeroport tweeted: "On going special operations by the Police. Please follow their instructions (safety area)."
France, which is just weeks away from a presidential election, remains under a state of emergency following a series of deadly attacks by Islamic militants over the last two years, including the November 2015 attack in Paris when 130 people were killed the the truck attack in Nice last year.