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France train attack:

France train attack: Talks in Paris to debate security

Calls for tighter security on the railways are to be discussed by European ministers and officials, following the foiled attack on a high-speed Amsterdam-Paris train last week.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Passengers overpowered a heavily armed man and pinned him to the floor. French prosecutors have filed charges against Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May is among those attending the talks in Paris.

France is understood to want tighter security measures.

Questions have been raised about how someone was able to board the train in Brussels carrying an assault rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition, a handgun, a box-cutter and petrol.

‘Control mechanism’

Saturday’s meeting will include ministers from France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Our correspondent says ideas to be raised at Saturday’s talks include:

  • Airport-style metal-detectors on some international trains
  • More armed security personnel
  • Greater information exchange so that destination countries know when a suspect is heading their way

Announcing the meeting, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: “We must see if we can put in place a mechanism that allows control at airports, in transportation, in a more co-ordinated manner.”

 

Any recommendations from the meeting will be debated first by a European rail security working group on 11 September and then by EU transport ministers meeting on 7-8 October.

Mr Khazzani is accused of carrying out a “targeted and premeditated” jihadist attack.

No-one died in the incident, although two passengers who helped to overpower the gunman were injured in the struggle.

Three Americans and one Briton have been awarded the Legion d’honneur by President Francois Hollande for their bravery, with awards for four more on the train likely to follow.

Mr Khazzani is said to have denied plotting a terrorist attack, saying he found a bag of weapons the night before and planned to use them to rob passengers.

However, prosecutor Francois Molins said his explanation became less clear during questioning and eventually he stopped talking altogether.

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