French police vehicles
French police vehicles Reuters

A heavily armed man opened fire on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, injuring at least two people before being overpowered by passengers.

The motives behind the attack were not immediately known, although a spokesman for the interior minister said: "It is too early to speak of a terrorist link."

Despite this, as of 9:00 pm, counter-terror police have now taken over the investigation, according to the British Guardian

A spokesman for the French state rail company SNCF said that the assailant was armed with guns and knives but gave no further details about the attack.

The spokesman had said earlier that three people were injured, two of them seriously, and that at least one suffered gunshot wounds. 

An American and a Briton were reportedly among those injured - and at least one official stated to the Guardian that they seemed to have been specifically targeted. 

The gunman was arrested after the train pulled into the station in the northern French town of Arras, the SNCF spokesman told AFP. He has allegedly said nothing since his arrest. 

As of 9:20 pm local time, the gunman has now been identified as a 26 year-old Moroccan man, a police official stated on French station i-Tele. 

"The passengers are safe, the situation has been brought under control," train operator Thalys said on Twitter.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was heading to Arras in the wake of the incident, which occurred shortly after 6:00 pm, his ministry said.

His spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet confirmed to AFP that a man had opened fire on the train but said that at this stage "we do not know his motives." 

France on edge

The French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who appeared in the 1986 cult film "Betty Blue" staring Beatrice Dalle, was lightly injured, a witness told AFPon condition of anonymity.

Thalys said on its website that several trains had been delayed after the "intervention of security forces at Arras station".

"The train is at the station and emergency services are at the scene," said Thalys, which is jointly owned by the national rail companies of Belgium, France and Germany.

Shortly after 9:00 pm local time, French President Francois Hollande made a statement of solidarity with the wounded. 

"I express my solidarity with the wounded from the attack on the train from Amsterdam to Paris," he said. "Everything is being done to shed light on this tragedy."

France remains on edge after Islamic extremists attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January.

In June, a man beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas plant in southern France in what prosecutors say was an attack inspired by the Islamic State group.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)