French police detain man who threatened to blow himself up on a train

French security forces on Friday detained a 24-year-old man who threatened to blow himself up on a high-speed train and were evaluating his psychiatric health after finding no explosives on him, police said.

French police detain man who threatened to blow himself up on a train
Illustration photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

The TGV train heading from the northeastern city of Colmar to Paris was delayed as a result of being stopped for security forces to intervene, a spokesman for national rail operator SNCF said.

“The situation is finished and under control. The individual has been arrested,” he told AFP.

The local police station said the 24-year-old “was threatening to blow himself up” and asked the passengers if they believed in God, but had neither weapon nor explosives on him.

The train carrying 280 people was held up shortly before 8am in the northeastern town of Louvigny to allow police to intervene and detain him for “threatening to commit an attack”, it said.

Some 100 members of the security forces and specialised sniffer dogs carried out a “thorough search” of the train but found nothing, before the train was allowed back on its way at around 10.20am.

Investigators said the man, who had already made a similar threat on a train in the northeastern city of Reims last year, was undergoing a “psychiatric evaluation”.

A police source said that the man was initially detained by a policeman who was travelling on the train as an ordinary passenger under a system that allows them to travel for free if they signal their presence to the conductor.

This set-up “each day proves its efficiency for the safety of French people on transport”, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

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Journalist attacked after tense Ajaccio v Marseille match

Prosecutors in southern France opened an investigation on Sunday after a journalist was attacked following a match between Ajaccio and Marseille, the second incident of violence at a French match in as many days.

Journalist attacked after tense Ajaccio v Marseille match

Ajaccio’s 1-0 win against their regional rivals on the island of Corsica was played in a tense atmosphere on Saturday.

After the game, a journalist from France 3 TV was attacked by Marseille supporters at a filling station near the stadium.

He was taken to hospital for treatment to “wounds on his face”, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

“Initial evidence points to serious acts of violence committed by a group of individuals who we are trying to identify,” Ajaccio’s chief prosecutor Nicolas Septe said.

He said the France 3 journalist was “quite seriously injured although there is no risk to his life”.

In a separate incident, a child suffering from cancer who was invited to meet the Marseille players was jostled along with his parents by Ajaccio supporters at the stadium, the Corsican club said, calling their behaviour “unspeakable”.

“The dream rapidly became a nightmare when Kenzo and his parents, who were wearing Marseille’s colours, were shamefully jostled by individuals who got into their box,” the club said.

“As soon as these individuals can be identified by our staff, we will bring prosecutions against them.”

The mayor of Ajaccio, Stephane Sbraggia, said the attacks on the journalist and the incidents surrounding the child “point to a worrying loss of values”.

It was the second incident of violence involving French football supporters in two days.

Four men were arrested in Bordeaux on Saturday after an assault on a player from their opponents Rodez led to a crucial match in the French second division promotion race being abandoned.

The match between hosts Bordeaux and Rodez on Friday was halted midway through the first half when a home fan approached the pitch and pushed over Rodez player Lucas Buades, who had just scored for the visiting team.

The match was halted and did not restart.

The source said the alleged aggressor was one of those taken into custody.

He was described as a 45-year-old man and a resident of the city of Annecy by local Bordeaux newspaper Sud Ouest.

Police allege that he invaded the pitch and “violently pushed” Buades, who was left concussed according to the referee.

The French league (LFP) will meet on Monday to discuss the incident which overshadowed the final night of the Ligue 2 season.