• Flights resume as police grill Paris airport attacker's family

    AgenciesMar 20, 2017, 07:27 IST

    Paris prosecutor Francois Molins (R) and head of the Paris Judiciary Police Christian Sainte address the press. Pic/AFP
    Paris prosecutor Francois Molins (R) and head of the Paris Judiciary Police Christian Sainte address the press. Pic/AFP

    Paris: Flights at Paris' Orly airport were returning to normal yesterday, a day after a man triggered a major security alert and travel chaos when he attacked a soldier before being shot dead.

    Anti-terror investigators yesterday released the father of the assailant but were continuing to hold his brother and cousin as they sought to build a profile of Ziyed Ben Belgacem (39), a Frenchman.

    All three family members had made contact with the police themselves, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told a press conference.

    Molins said Ben Belgacem had grabbed a female soldier and put a gun to her head, seizing her assault rifle.

    Flights were halted at Orly for hours following the shooting, which happened just before 8.30 am (local time). Around 3,000 people were evacuated from the building.

    "The air traffic is fairly normal," a spokesman for the Paris airport authority said last morning.

    "There are, however, still some slight delays, of on average around 20 minutes."

    About 100 people who were unable to board flights slept at Orly in beds provided by the airport, while 200 others spent the night at hotels provided by airlines.

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    He was no terrorist, says attacker's dad
    Father of the Frenchman shot dead at Orly airport in Paris after attacking a soldier said yesterday that his son was "not a terrorist" and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs. "He never prayed, he drank. This is what happens under the influence of drink and cannabis," said Ziyed Ben Belgacem's father.