A man has been shot dead at Paris Orly airport after taking a soldier's gun.

He grabbed the weapon before fleeing into a shop, where he was shot dead, the French interior ministry has stated.

Passengers recounted shots being fired within the south terminal. Initial reports from the scene state that a man has been shot dead.

Video from outside the airport shows large crowds of passengers outside the terminal, and French national police have warned the public to avoid the airport during the operation.

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Officers are currently trying to determine if the man acted alone, and are searching for bombs. It happened at 8.30am (France time).

French TV network BFMTV reports that a man attempted to grab the weapon of a solider in the airport's southern terminal. The solider opened fire, killing the attacker.

The airport has been evacuated and police are searching for possible accomplices. A search is on to determine if any explosives were left.

French national police tweeted: "Ongoing police operation, we recommend that you avoid the airport."

One passenger wrote on Twitter: "SHOTS FIRED AT THE ORLY AIRPORT SOUTH TERMINAL!"

And passenger Isabelle Raynaud said she was not being allowed to leave her plane as a result of the operation.

She wrote: "Stuck in the plane to #orly we are prevented from disembarking. There have been shots..."