French police clear train after 'armed men joke'

The Local France
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French police clear train after 'armed men joke'
The TGV train was evacuated in Nimes, southern France. File photo: AFP

In what might be the least funny "joke" of the year, a teenage girl sent her mother a text claiming there were two armed men aboard her train in southern France. Police weren't laughing.


France remains on high alert after a terror attack was foiled by passengers on a Paris-bound train on Friday. 
But not everyone is taking the matter seriously. 
A 15-year-old girl travelling alone on a train from Paris to Montpellier in southern France on Tuesday thought it would be funny to text her mother that there were two armed men on board. 
Her terrified mother tried to call the girl repeatedly, but got no answer. No doubt fearing the worst, she then contacted police, who tried unsuccessfully to contact the driver. 
Officers rushed to the train's next port of call, Nimes, and cleared the platform while preparing to intercept the train. 
After finally reaching the driver by radio, police were baffled to hear that there had been no interruptions to a seemingly normal cross-country trip, reported the BFM TV channel
At around the same time, the girl's mother contacted police to say that her daughter had confessed to the text being nothing more than a joke. 
Upon arrival at Nimes, the girl told officers that she had fallen asleep after sending the SMS, and due to problems with connection, hadn't been alerted when her mother called. 
Prosecutors let the girl off with a warning. 
Authorities weren't so lenient earlier this week with two young men who also thought train terror in France was a funny matter.
The two men in their early twenties were jailed for 3 years and 18 months respectively after telling passengers that "everything was about to blow up" and that they would kick off a "Charlie Hebdo 2", referring to the terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January that left 12 dead.


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