U.S. Marines stop gunman from launching attack on Paris-bound train

Two U.S. Marines in civilian clothing have been hailed as heroes after they stopped a gunman from carrying out an attack on board an international train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. Both Marines were seriously injured.

The incident happened late on Friday afternoon when two soldiers heard sounds coming from a train toilet that indicated heavy weapons were being loaded. The service members, who were unarmed, then overpowered the man before he was able to launch his attack. One of the Marines was shot and the other was stabbed, leaving them both seriously injured.

The gunman, identified as a 26-year-old Moroccan man who was known to intelligence services, was arrested after the train, which was carrying several hundred people, stopped in Arras in northern France. The incident itself took place when the train was in Belgium near the border with France.

French President Fran├žois Hollande said "everything is being done" to find out what happened on board the Thalys high-speed train. "Everything is being done to shed light on this tragedy and to get all the necessary information about what happened," Hollande's office said in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who received a briefing on the attempted attack, expressed his "profound gratitude" to the U.S. Marines and other passengers who stopped the gunman from carrying out his attack, calling their actions courageous and selfless. "While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy," a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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