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Man arrested in Disneyland Paris hotel with two handguns: police

Update: January, 29/2016 - 11:29
French police officers stand guard after a man carrying two handguns, ammunition and a Koran was arrested on January 28, 2016 at a hotel in Disneyland Paris. AFP Photo

PARIS  — A man carrying two handguns, ammunition and a Koran was arrested Thursday at a hotel in Disneyland Paris, a police source said.

The man was "detected upon his arrival at the hotel on the Disneyland site where he had a reservation. Hotel security found two handguns, a Koran and ammunition on him," the source said.

Disneyland Paris said the guns were picked up by routine scanning of the man's bags at the hotel entrance.

Police arrested the suspect and secured his vehicle.

A police source said preliminary investigations did not point to terrorism, and that the man had said he was carrying the guns because he feared for his safety.

They then arrested a woman, believing her to be his girlfriend, but released her after realising they had the wrong person, one of the police sources said.

A view of the hotel in Disneyland Paris where a man …

A view of the hotel in Disneyland Paris where a man carrying two handguns, ammunition and a Koran was arrested. AFP Photo

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Papers found on the suspect indicated that he lived in Paris, but no further details were given. His girlfriend was still being sought.

The scene unfolded at the Art Deco-style New York hotel near the theme park, which is situated about 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of the French capital.

"Police were immediately warned and the individual was arrested. We are continuing to work closely with the authorities and the safety of our visitors and employees is our top priority," said a spokesman for Disneyland Paris, Francois Banon, in a statement.

Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe, with 14.8 million visitors in 2015, according to Euro Disney's annual report.

The suspect is the joint manager of a brasserie in Paris's 14th arrondissement, according to a source close to the investigation.

Staff and regulars there expressed astonishment at his arrest.

"For me it's a mistake," a member of the bar staff said by telephone, adding that the phone had been "ringing every two seconds" since the news.

"Honestly, I'm taken aback. It's a joke," added the other co-manager.

France is on high alert after a devastating terror attack on Paris in November saw gunmen and suicide bombers target cafes, a concert venue and the Stade de France national stadium, leaving 130 dead and hundreds injured.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage.

It was the second major attack in France in a year, as the country has become a prime target for the jihadist group operating out of Iraq and Syria.

In January 2015, three days of terror gripped Paris as a series of attacks left 17 people dead, including an attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

France imposed a three-month state of emergency after the November attacks, which President Francois Hollande hopes to extend for another three months despite fierce opposition from rights activists. — AFP

 



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