French President Francois Hollande has offered his "heartfelt thanks" to U.S. President Barack Obama for what the Elysee said was "exemplary conduct" shown by three U.S. citizens who overpowered a suspected Islamic militant on a crowded Amsterdam-Paris train.
Holande's office said the two presidents spoke by telephone late on the afternoon of August 22, "renewing their determination to work together to fight against violence and terrorism on all fronts."
Reports say Hollande plans to meet at the Elysee Palace on August 24 with the three men, who overpowered an attacker who was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol, and a box cutter on the high-speed train just after it crossed from Belgium into northern France.
U.S. Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman, and U.S. student Anthony Sadler are being hailed as heroes for tackling and disarming the gunman.
Stone, the first one to reach the gunman was released from hospital on August 22 after being slashed with the box cutter in the neck and hand.
The three, together with a British consultant who helped disarm the gunman, Chris Norman, were given medals for bravery by authorities in the French city of Arras.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa