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Ten held as TGV forced to halt

Youths attack high-speed train in Marseille in bid to film rap video

TEN young men are expected to face judges today after they and dozens of other youths forced a Paris to Nice TGV to stop in a suburb of Marseille.

The group, who later told police the just wanted to create a “buzz” on the internet and film a rap video, tried to get on board the high-speed train but could not open the doors. Most fled after throwing stones when police arrived but the 10 were arrested.

However, although some passengers said the terrifying attack was “like something out of the Wild West” it came as France is on red alert for terror attacks in the wake of the Mali intervention against Islamist groups.

The high-speed train had just left Marseille Saint-Charles station for Hyères and Nice with 150 passengers on board on Saturday when the driver spotted red warning flares on the track ahead and slammed on the brakes.

Youths from the nearby suburb of Air Bel – one of the newly-created Zones de Sécurité Prioritaires where policing is reinforced – pounded the sides of the train and tried to climb aboard in an attack that was initially described as “being like the Wild West”.

The train was not travelling at high speed when the attack happened as the Marseille-Nice section is on ordinary rail track.

Police said later that many of the youngsters involved were still “minors” and when questioned said they had not wanted to rob the passengers but to film a rap video.

The mayor of the nearby 11th and 12th arrondissements, Robert Assante, said that “invading the tracks to halt a TGV is mind-boggling”.

Related articles: France increases security measures

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