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U.K. authorities arrest man, evacuate airport terminal

British police arrested a man and blew up a suspicious item they say he discarded at an airport south of London that prompted authorities to evacuate one of the airport's terminals.

A 41-year-old man from Vendome, France, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of firearms offenses, police said in a statement. Authorities evacuated Gatwick's North Terminal, which has been reopened.

"The man is being interviewed as we try to determine the circumstances of the incident, but at this time it is too early to say what his intentions, if any, were," Detective Superintendent Nick May said in the statement. "However, given the events in Paris on Friday evening, there is heightened awareness around any such incident and it is best that we treat the matter in all seriousness.

The police said that explosive specialists were called in and carried out a small, controlled explosion on the item the man allegedly discarded at Gatwick. The police didn't provide other details about the item.

Another item that appeared to be a firearm was recovered from the man, police said. It was going to be examined.

Police said they arrested the man before he had checked in or passed through any passport or security checks.

Gatwick is Britain's second busiest airport.

The incident happened as law enforcement services in Britain, the rest of Europe, and major U.S. cities remained on heightened states of alert following the apparently well-coordinated attacks carried out in Paris on Friday evening.

A French prosecutor said seven well-armed militants besieged restaurants, a concert hall and other public places in Paris, leaving at least 129 people dead in an "act of war" the French president blamed squarely on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).