Airport shooting rekindles security debate ahead of French election

Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:11pm GMT
 

* Man shot dead said he was there to "die for Allah" - prosecutor

* Terrorism investigation opened

* Father denies his son was a "terrorist"

* Election candidates express alarm at Orly incident

By Yann Le Guernigou and Gus Trompiz

PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) - Police on Sunday questioned relatives of a man shot dead by soldiers at a Paris airport as they sought clues about why he tried to seize an assault rifle in an incident that has pushed security to the top of France's election campaign.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said late on Saturday that the man, named as 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, had shouted he was there to "die for Allah" when he tried to seize the gun from a woman air force member on patrol at Orly airport.

After throwing down a bag containing a can of petrol and putting an air pistol to the head of the soldier, he was shot three times by her colleagues.

More than 230 people have died in France in the past two years at the hands of attackers allied to the militant Islamist group Islamic State. These include coordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 in Paris when 130 people were killed and scores injured.   Continued...

 
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