France's interior ministry says no people are wounded but local media reports the airport is evacuated after the incident.

Emergency vehicles arrive at Orly airport's southern terminal in Paris, France, March 18, 2016.
Emergency vehicles arrive at Orly airport's southern terminal in Paris, France, March 18, 2016.

French security forces shot dead a man who seized a soldier's gun at Paris Orly airport in France on Saturday, officials said.

The incident happened soon after the same man shot and wounded a police officer during a routine police check, the interior minister said.

The man was known to police and intelligence services, Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux told reporters.

The anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.

The busy Orly airport south of Paris was evacuated and security forces swept the area for bombs to make sure the dead man was not wearing an explosive belt, but nothing was found, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

"The man succeeded in seizing the weapon of a soldier. He was quickly neutralised by the security forces," Brandet said.

No one else was injured at the airport.

TRT World's Peter Humi reports from Paris.

Air traffic suspended

Addressing reporters at the airport, Le Roux said the man had tried "but not succeeded" in his bid to grab the rifle of the female soldier who was on patrol with two male colleagues.

Le Roux said the man was also suspected opening fire on police during a routine traffic inspection in the northern suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse at around 7:00 am (0600 GMT). One officer suffered minor head injuries.

He was thought to have stolen a car and driven to Orly, Le Roux said. Police sources said he was 39.

Franck Lecam, a traveller bound for Tel Aviv, told AFP he heard "three or four shots" nearby as he was queuing to check in.

Air traffic to Orly was suspended and all incoming flights rerouted to Paris' main Charles de Gaulle airport, north of the city.

Several planes that were preparing for takeoff or had just landed in Orly were held on the runway as the security operation unfolded.

Passengers in the Orly-Ouest terminal were confined in the building. That terminal re-opened at around 1200 GMT.

The southern terminal, where the incident occurred, was re-opening in stages.

A notice was posted on the Paris airports authority website urging passengers not to travel to Orly.

Budget airline easyJet said it expected interruptions and flight delays, adding that 46 of its flights were due to fly in and out of the airport on Saturday.

State of emergency

France remains in a state of emergency after a series of terror attacks, including the November 2015 massacre in Paris and a truck attack in Nice, in July last year. Over 230 people have lost their lives in different attacks since January 2015.

In mid-February, a machete-wielding Egyptian man attacked a soldier outside Paris's Louvre museum before being shot and wounded.

The soldier from whom the man tried to take the weapon was part of Operation Sentinelle, a force of 7,000 troops deployed in the capital and other cities after the January 2015 Paris attacks.

France goes to the polls on April 23 in the first round of a two-stage presidential election in which security is one of the main issues on voters' minds.

On Thursday, a letter bomb exploded at the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund, injuring a secretary who suffered burns to her hands and face.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies