India: At least 65 dead in suspected train bombing

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February 19, 2007 05:03

 
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An explosion on a train headed for Pakistan set off a fire that swept through two coaches, killing at least 65 people in an attack that an official said was aimed at undermining the peace process between India and Pakistan. Dozens more people were injured. Authorities say two suitcases packed with unexploded crude bombs and bottles of gasoline were found in train cars not hit in the attack, leading them to believe the fire was set off by an identical explosive device. "This is an act of sabotage," Railway Minister Laloo Prasad told reporters in Patna, India. "This is an attempt to derail the improving relationship between India and Pakistan." India's junior home minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, said the homemade bombs were not powerful and were simply intended to start a fire on the train one day before Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi for talks on the ongoing peace process. Jaiswal called the attack part of a "conspiracy ... to disturb communal harmony, India's stability and to disturb the peace process between India and Pakistan."

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