Three hurt in Amsterdam-to-Paris train "terrorist attack"

Thalys attack
One of the injured in a shooting on a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris. Aug. 21, 2015 (photo: Christina Cathleen Coons / Twitter / @FreedomFilmLLC). One of the injured in a shooting on a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris. Aug. 21, 2015 (photo: Christina Cathleen Coons / Twitter / @FreedomFilmLLC)

Three people were hurt onboard a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris after a gunman armed with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle opened fire during the Friday evening journey. The man was overpowered on the train and arrested, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve said police believe it was a terrorist attack. At least two American military members were on the Paris-bound train, and were initially thought to have been critically injured in the attack, however other news sources said one of the two critically hurt is British. One was shot, while the other was stabbed, while they may have tried to stop the incident

“I can confirm they are Americans who subdued the gunman but nothing more,” said Capt. Richard Ulsh, a spokesman for U.S. Marine Forces Europe told ABC News.

Passengers overpowered the attacker before he could injure anyone further. Police said a motive is unknown at the time.

Two ongoing wars between different organised crime factions in the Netherlands have led to repeated use of Kalashnikov-style rifles in retribution killings. It is not clear if police are also investigating motives other than terrorism.

The attack began at 5:50 p.m., about a half-hour outside of Brussels and with 45 minutes left before arrival in Paris. The train departed Amsterdam just after 3:15 p.m.

French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade injured his hand on glass when he hit the emergency alarm, according to newswire ANP. American media reported the third victim was hurt while fleeing the scene.

Roughly 500 people were on the train at the time of the incident. The train was diverted to Arras, France, where the passengers disembarked. Many of them gathered at a near by gymnasium where they were offered food, water and shelter.

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