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U.s. Servicemen Overpower Gunman On French Train


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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34023361

Three people have been hurt after a heavily armed man opened fire on a train in northern France, before being overpowered by two American passengers.

The incident happened on the high-speed Thalys service near Arras, and the attacker was arrested at Arras station.

The interior minister praised the Americans, one of whom was seriously injured, as was another passenger.

The man arrested was a 26-year-old Moroccan. Anti-terrorist officers have taken over the case.

The weapons were said to include a Kalashnikov, a knife, an automatic pistol and cartridges.

One of the two people seriously hurt had a gunshot wound, the other a knife wound.

_85119751_85119750.jpgThe suspect was arrested at Arras station_85120634_028643714-1.jpgPolice stand near gun cartridges and a backpack at Arras station

French media said the arrested man was known to the intelligence services. The suspect has so far refused to talk to police in Arras.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the incident was a "terrorist attack".

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve travelled to Arras in the wake of the attack.

He said: "As always where an act that could be terrorist in nature is involved, the greatest care and the greatest precision will be used."

He praised the Americans who overpowered the suspect.

Mr Cazeneuve said they were "particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances", adding: "Without their composure we could have been confronted with a terrible incident."

French media said the passengers who overpowered the suspect were US Marines who had heard the man loading a weapon in a toilet cubicle and confronted him when he came out.

Mr Cazeneuve said the attack had taken place at 17:45 local time (15:45 GMT).

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Mr Cazeneuve said he had also met French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was lightly wounded when breaking glass to sound the alarm, and other passengers.

"My thoughts are with the wounded and with the passengers who are in a state of shock," Mr Cazeneuve said.

'Under control'

Initial reports suggested the second person seriously hurt was a Briton, but the UK Foreign Office later said there were no reports that British nationals were hurt.

Images shared on social media appeared to show a man being restrained on the station platform in Arras.

One photograph showed an injured man in a blue top and jeans lying on the floor of the train.

French rail firm SNCF said there had been 554 people on board the train.

"The situation is under control, the travellers are safe. The train stopped and the emergency services are on site," the Thalys official Twitter account tweeted.

Thalys said several trains had been delayed in the wake of the attack.

France has been on edge since the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January, which left 17 people dead.

And in June a man said to be inspired by the Islamic State group beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas plant in southern France.

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I shudder to think what could have happened had these servicemen not been on that train.

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(CNN)The train was speeding through Belgium when the man emerged from the train bathroom, shirtless with a rifle -- possibly an AK 47 -- slung over his shoulder, the Americans said.

The three men -- a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian -- responded quickly, possibly preventing a deadly attack on the high-speed Thalys train.

The suspect had a box cutter or some other bladed weapon, authorities said.

"My friend Alek (Skarlatos) yells, 'Get him,' so my friend Spencer (Stone) immediately gets up to charge the guy, followed by Alek, then myself," Anthony Sadler said in an interview with CNN.

"The three of us beat up the guy," Anthony said. "In the process Spencer gets slashed multiple times by the box cutter, and Alek takes the AK away.

"I begin to tie him up with help from Chris, another passenger. I notice a man had his throat cut at which Spencer begins to apply pressure to the neck wound before he bled out."

Spencer was cut in the head and neck and almost had his thumb cut off, Alek's brother, Peter Skarlatos told CNN. Alek had taken control of the rifle and hit the suspect in the head with the muzzle, the brother said.

The train was rerouted to the French town of Arras, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Paris. The man was placed under arrest.

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

Alek Skarlatos
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Alek Skarlatos was one of three Americans who rescued hundreds of passengers from a gunman in Belgium, France, with the help of a British man. His friend Spencer Stone was injured while subduing the gunman. (Facebook)

“Get him!”

Those were the words Alek Skarlatos yelled when he saw a gunman emerge from a bathroom on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, CNN reported. His words spurred his friends into action, stopping what could have been a horrific attack. Alek Skarlatos, a member of the Oregon National Guard, was one of three Americans who, with the help of a British man, saved possibly hundreds of passengers from being massacred. They were on a train in Belgium, Thalys 9364, when the attempted attack occurred, according to KDRV. Skarlatos and his friends, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, were alerted when they heard the gunman loading ammo in a bathroom on the train. They subdued him, but Stone and two other passengers were injured in the process. A video in Fact #3, below, shows the men after subduing the gunman. The Americans were heroes and saved hundreds of lives.

Here’s what you need to know.

MORE HERE

Anthony Sadler
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Anthony Sadler was one of three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Belgium. He, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone worked together to save hundreds in France. Chris Norman, a British man, also stopped the attack. (Facebook)

Anthony Sadler was one of three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Belgium. The train was headed from Amsterdam to Paris. Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone were the Americans who saved hundreds from possibly being massacred. According to French reporters, British man Chris Norman also helped stop the attack. Stone was injured, along with two other passengers on the train.

MORE HERE

Spencer Stone
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Spencer Stone was the American injured while stopping a gunman on a Belgium train. (Facebook)

Spencer Stone was the American serviceman injured while stopping what could have been a horrific attack on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. He was one of three Americans who stopped the attacks. Reports vary about his injuries, some saying he was stabbed and others saying he took a bullet in the neck. French authorities said the would-be gunman had an AK rifle with nine clips and was under a terrorist watch for suspected ties with ISIS. Stone, who is in the U.S. Air Force, Anthony Sadler, a college student, and Alek Skarlatos, from the Oregon National Guard, were the three Americans who stopped the attack. A British man named Chris Norman also helped stop the attack, according to French reports.

MORE HERE

The Men Have Been Awarded Bravery Medals

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The three Americans and Norman have already been awarded medals of bravery from the local mayor. Stone was still in the hospital, so he is not pictured in the Twitter photo above.

Edited by Vogelgryff
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This is what French actor Jean-Hughes Anglade said:

« Nous étions au mauvais endroit, mais avec les bonnes personnes. C’est un miracle. Nous avons eu une chance incroyable d’avoir ces soldats américains. Je veux rendre hommage à leur courage héroïque, et les remercier, sans eux, nous serions tous morts. »

We were in the wrong place, but with the right persons. It's a miracle. We got incredibly lucky to have these US soldiers. I want to pay homage to their heroic courage et thank them, without them, we would be all dead.

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