France: Three injured in shooting on Amsterdam-Paris train

22nd Aug 2015
France: Three injured in shooting on Amsterdam-Paris train
PARIS (AA):  A gunman has opened fire on a Thalys train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, wounding three people before he was arrested at Arras in Pas-de-Calais, Northern France, the Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said Friday.

According to Brandet, two of the victims — American and British — were seriously injured and the French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade suffered a light injury in his hand.

“The gunman opened fire using a kalashnikov in the train, and used a knife as well. The motives behind the attack are still unknown,” Brandet said in a televised statement.

The incident took place shortly after 4 p.m. GMT and the gunman was overpowered by other passengers when the train stopped at the town’s station, according to Christophe Piednoel, the spokesman of French state rail company SNCF.

French President Francois Hollande tweeted: “I express my solidarity with the wounded from the attack on the train from Amsterdam to Paris. Everything is being done to shed light on this tragedy.”

A statement from Hollande’s office said in a statement that the French president has spoken to the Belgian prime minister following the attack, “which took place on Belgian territory”.

“They agreed to work together and to cooperate closely within the framework of the investigation that is under way,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Paris prosecutor’s office said the city’s counter-terrorist police have taken over the investigation.

“The anti-terrorist section of the prosecutor’s office has taken over this case, in agreement with the local prosecutor, in view of the weaponry used, the way it happened and the context,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said.

Speaking at Arras train station, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed earlier reports that two American passengers overpowered the gunman.

“I would like, along with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, to express to the two American passengers, who have shown great bravery, our admiration and our gratitude for the cold blood they showed, without which we might have faced a terrible tragedy, ” Cazeneuve told reporters.

He said that the suspect is under custody and is being questioned by investigators.

“It will be up to the prosecutor and terrorism prosecutor to speak about the details of the attack… At the scene, the scientific and technical police are operating,” he added.

Author: Hajer M’tırı
[Photo: Terrorist attack in Paris earlier this year. An armed soldier patrols at the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris, France on January 13,2015 after the France terror attacks. Photographer: Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency]

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