Friday 30 September 2016

Man with guns and the Koran arrested at Disneyland Paris

David Mercer in Paris

Published 29/01/2016 | 02:30

Disneyland Paris, the most visited theme park in Europe
Disneyland Paris, the most visited theme park in Europe
Police at the New York Hotel where the man was arrested.

A man carrying two handguns was arrested at Disneyland Paris yesterday.

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The man (28) was found with the weapons, ammunition and a copy of the Koran after trying to pass through security at a hotel at the resort, according to reports.

The suspect's partner fled after he was seized and was last night reportedly still on the run.

Police said a woman had been arrested at the park but French media reported she was later released.

François Banon, a spokesman for Disneyland Paris, said: "During a routine security screening checkpoint at one of our hotels, weapons were discovered in a guest's luggage through our X-ray machine.

"The police were immediately notified and the individual was arrested. We continue to work closely with the authorities, and the safety and security of our guests and cast members is our utmost priority."

France remains under a state of emergency since the deadly Islamist attacks in Paris in November which killed 130 people.

Tourist

There are several hotels around Disneyland Paris, which is among Europe's most-visited tourist attractions.

The man was stopped by security staff when his bag passed through an X-ray machine at Disneyland Paris's New York Hotel, according to reports.

The man, reportedly not known to security services, was also discovered with a copy of the Koran and a box of ammunition, police said.

He gave no resistance when he was arrested, French media reported.

Little is known about the suspect. One police source told the AFP agency the investigation did not point to terrorism, and that the man said he was carrying the weapons for self-protection.

Targets

Local police were last night handling the inquiry, which has not been passed to anti-terrorism investigators.

French President François Hollande is seeking to extend the country's three-month state of emergency for another three months, despite opposition from rights groups.

Earlier this week, EU policing agency Europol warned that Isil was planning further attacks, with France and so-called "soft" targets at particular risk.

Earlier bomb disposal experts were seen inspecting a vehicle near the hotel, according to BFM TV, which said the man justified the presence of two pistols in his suitcase by saying he "feared for his safety" and needed to protect himself.

Disneyland Paris remained open after the incident.

The park is situated about 30km east of the French capital and is the most visited theme park in Europe, with about 10 million visitors in 2014.

Irish Independent

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