Soldier dies in airport clash in Kerala, India

Paramilitary soldiers at Chennai airport Image copyright AP
Image caption India's airports are mainly guarded by paramilitary soldiers

A paramilitary soldier has been killed in a clash with airport workers at Kozhikode airport in India's Kerala state, causing disruption to travel.

The incident on Wednesday night took place when an airport worker allegedly snatched the soldier's gun after an altercation and shot at him.

Angry airport workers blocked the runway with vehicles after the clash, leading to flights being diverted.

India's airports are mainly guarded by paramilitary soldiers.

At least two airport workers were injured in the clash, reports said.

Kerala's Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala told BBC Hindi that the trouble began when an airport worker tried to enter the airport without showing his security pass to the soldier.

Image copyright courtesy: KOZHIKODE AIRPORT
Image caption Kozhikode is one of the busiest international airports in India

"In the heated argument that followed, the worker is alleged to have taken away the soldier's gun and shot him. The soldier died on his way to the hospital," he said.

Following the incident, security personnel clashed with airport workers, and the worker who challenged the soldier was also injured.

A number of flights coming into Kozhikode were diverted after airport workers blocked the runway with fire service vehicles.

The police cleared the runway and the airport became operational on Thursday morning, police said.

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