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Hollande honours anti-terror train heros


President Hollande decorates Stone. Photo credit thenews

President Hollande decorates Stone. Photo credit thenews

THREE Americans and a Briton who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train have received France’s top honour from President Francois Hollande.

Mr Hollande presented Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman with the Legion d’honneur at the Elysee Palace.

Two other unnamed passengers will receive the honour at a later date. The passengers overpowered a suspected radical Islamist on a high-speed train bound for Paris on Friday.

French authorities are questioning the suspect, 25-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani.

Mr Hollande pinned medals on the chests of the four passengers at a ceremony in Paris yesterday morning. “We are here to honour four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives,” he said.

“In the name of France, I would like to thank you. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom.”

Mr Hollande said: “A terrorist decided to commit an attack. He had enough weapons and ammunition to carry out real carnage, and that’s what he would have done if you hadn’t tackled him at a risk to your own lives.

“You gave us a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope.”
He added: “Faced with the evil called terrorism there is a good, that is humanity. You are the incarnation of that.”

This was France’s formal thank you to the men who set such an extraordinary example by their courage on Friday’s train. The government here is making a big deal of the four heroes (plus their anonymous French helper) – and for good reason.

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