Sourav “Teddy” Biswas
Not even a year has passed since the horrific incident at Nice, when the city and citizens of Paris was terrorized beyond belief. This time it happened at Orly Airport In Paris, France. On Saturday March 18th, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, single-handedly caused a moment of havoc inside the international airport before being shot and killed by the French police.
Belgacem, a suspected Islamic extremist, attacked a French soldier and managed to take her firearm during the melee. Immediately, two fellow soldiers arrived on the scene and opened fire; killing Belgacem instantly before he could pull the trigger.
The airport’s terminals were instantly closed. Authorities quickly sprung into action and began evacuating the airport right away. Hundreds of passengers and flight crew were quarantined inside the planes that had just been landed. The French authorities described this as a 90-minute spree of destructive criminality across the French capital by Belgacem.
Ziyed Ben Belgacem was stopped earlier that day by Police in Paris’ northern suburbs for reckless driving. After getting into a scuffle with the traffic officer, during the stop; Belgacem stole the officer’s gun and fired. Fortunately, the revolver was loaded with bird shots and the officer only sustained non, life-threatening injuries to his face. Belgacem then stole a car at gunpoint and hurled to Orly’s International Airport’s South Terminal.
According to soldiers, Belgacem yelled: “Put down your weapons! Put your hands on your head! I am here to die for Allah. Whatever happens, there will be deaths,“ said Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins.
Approximately, 3000 travelers and airport employees were evacuated from Orly after the attack took place. It was reported that 13 flights were diverted to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The situation in and around Orly International Airport was gradually brought back to normal thanks to the French Police and the military of the Sentinelle Force. Suspicion of a second attacker was ruled out after authorities conducted a thorough sweep of the airport. Saturday’s attack further alleviated panic in France; now under state-of-emergency status, preceding additional attacks across the country resulting in loss of nearly 235 people since 2014.