Soldier dies in Sarkozy farewell ceremony

Drama at Ben-Gurion Airport

: Border Guard officer tasked with perimeter security assignment during farewell ceremony for French president Sarkozy shoots himself, dies of his wounds; VIPs at airports rushed away from scene by bodyguards

Tragedy at farewell ceremony: A Border Guard officer tasked with a perimeter security assignement during the farewell ceremony for French President Nicolas Sarkozy at Ben-Gurion Airport was killed after apparently shooting himself.

An ambulance was rushed to the scene to treat the soldier, but a short time later he was pronounced dead.Police officials estimated that the officer committed suicide.

The incident caused a scare during the ceremony, prompting body guards to rush VIPs away from the area. The armored cars of President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were rushed to the ceremony site, and the two were taken away from the area.

Meanwhile, the French president was taken into his airplane, which was waiting on the runway, by his own bodyguards. After the circumstances of the incident became clear, the bodyguards allowed Peres and Olmert to board the plane and bid Sarkozy farewell.

A member of Peres’ entourage told Ynet, „There was no panic; a routine procedure was activated by the prime minister’s and president’s bodyguards. The incident is behind us and the French president is on his way back home.”

After the gunshot was heard, security forces began searching for the shooter, who was found lying on the ground. A security officer who witnessed the shooting recounted the incident to the police.