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France

Marseille youths hold up train to create internet buzz

Reuters/Stringer

Dozens of youths forced a TGV high-speed train to stop just to create a buzz on the internet, police in the southern French city of Marseille said Sunday. Ten of those involved were arrested and are expected to appear in court on Monday morning.

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“It turns out that their aim was to make a buzz on the internet, not steal the train,” a police source told the AFP news agency, revealing that about half the detained youths are minors.

A crowd of several dozen young people forced the TGV, which was carrying 150 passengers between Marseille and Nice, to stop near the troubled Air Bel housing estate by lighting torches and placing them on the rails.

They were unable to get into the carriages because the doors were locked.

The train, which was stopped shortly after 2.00pm, did not leave again until 4.00pm, arranging in Nice two hours late.

“We’re back in the days of holding up stage coaches, it’s the Far West,” commented police trade unionist David-Olivier Reverdy Saturday.

Bel Air is one of the areas that the government has named a special priority in its fight against urban crime.

Marseille is European capital of culture this year.

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