French-American honoured for helping stop train attack

France's President Francois Hollande gives the Legion d'honneur award to Mark Moogalian at the Elysee Palace on 22 September Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Moogalian and five other passengers overpowered the gunman

A French-American man who helped stop a heavily armed gunman on a train in France in 2015 has received the country's highest honour.

Mark Moogalian and five other passengers overpowered the suspect, Moroccan national Ayoub El-Khazzani.

Mr Moogalian was shot in the neck during the struggle on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris.

The Legion d'honneur was given by President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

When a French passenger tried to enter a toilet on the train, he encountered the gunman and tried to overpower him.

Seeing the struggle, Mr Moogalian tried to intervene but was hit by a bullet.

Three other Americans - off-duty military servicemen Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler - then overpowered the attacker.

They also had the help of UK businessman Chris Norman.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mark Moogalian (left) and Francoise Rudetzki were awarded at the same ceremony

The Americans and the Briton received the honour in August 2015.

French digital TV channel BFMTV reported last month (in French) that Ayoub El-Khazzani remained in custody in France, awaiting trial.

The Legion d'honneur was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The award is divided into five categories and the passengers received the chevalier, the most commonly awarded.

Francoise Rudetzki, former head of SOS Attentats, an association for victims of terrorism, was decorated with the Legion d'honneur at the same ceremony on Thursday.

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