Two Afghan refugees who claimed political asylum in France have been arrested for the attempted rape of a passenger on a Paris train.
A 28-year-old woman traveling alone on the Paris RER express train on 9 December found herself under attack from a group of men who turned out to be Afghan refugees, reports Le Parisien.
Initially the young supermarket worker had entered a deserted carriage, but soon after she was joined by about ten men who boarded at Montparnasse station. It is reported they had been in the notorious Bois de Boulogne park in order to procure sex with transvestites.
Feeling uncomfortable in their presence the woman moved, but three of the men followed and used her isolation to pester her.
At this point matters took a turn for the worse. With the woman described as having been paralysed by fear, one of the three fondled her, another strangled her with her own scarf, and the third held a knife to her face before they all started to undress her.
Luckily for the victim another passenger then boarded and surprised the attackers, intervening in her defence. She managed to get off the train and took refuge in a nearby restaurant. Even so, sources say she was left “very traumatised” by the attack.
The three suspects were seen on CCTV footage recorded at Montparnasse station, from which investigating officers identified them. On 17 December, two of the alleged rapists were arrested in Paris and charged with attempted rape. Although they denied any involvement their alleged victim recognised them.
The arrested migrants were aged 19 and 45 years old. They sought political asylum in France after claiming they fled Afghanistan having been pressured by the Taliban to attack the western world.
The investigation into the whereabouts and identity of the third attacker continues.