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France's top honour for heroes who foiled train attack

By AP Reporter

Published 25/08/2015

Student Anthony Sadler, US Airman Spencer Stone, US ambassador to France Jane Hartley and US National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos (AP)
Student Anthony Sadler, US Airman Spencer Stone, US ambassador to France Jane Hartley and US National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos (AP)

Three Americans and a British man who restrained a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium have received France's top honour.

French president Francois Hollande pinned the Legion of Honour medal on US Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and their friend Anthony Sadler, who subdued the gunman as he moved through the train with an assault rifle strapped to his bare chest.

British businessman Chris Norman also jumped into the fray and helped restrain the gunman.

Mr Hollande said the men showed "that faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You also gave a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope".

The alleged gunman, identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, is being questioned in custody by French counter-terrorism police outside Paris.

Mr Hollande said: "The entire world admires your courage, your sangfroid, your spirit of solidarity. This must be an example for all."

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