Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bombay Train Bomb Blast

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The Associated Press

BOMBAY, India (AP) � Seven bombs hit Bombay's commuter rail network during rush hour Tuesday evening, killing as many as 100 people and wounding more than 300 in what authorities called a well-coordinated attack.

India's major cities were put on high alert after the blasts, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called an emergency Cabinet meeting.

Chaos engulfed the crowded rail network in India's financial capital following the blasts that ripped apart train compartments as authorities struggled to treat the wounded amid heavy monsoon downpours. Doors and windows were blown off the train cars, and luggage and debris were strewn across the tracks.

Police Chief A.N. Roy said on Indian television that an estimated 100 people were killed and more than 250 were wounded.

"We are busy in the rescue operation. Our first priority is to rescue the injured people," he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the bombings, which came in quick succession � a common tactic employed by Kashmiri militants that have repeatedly targeted India's cities.

A senior Bombay police official, P.S. Pasricha, said the explosions were part of a well-coordinated attack. Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, where Bombay is located, said bombs had caused all seven blasts.

Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil told reporters that authorities had had some information that an attack was coming, "but place and time was not known."

The first explosion hit the train at a railway station in the northwestern suburb of Khar, said a police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

India's CNN-IBN television news, which had a reporter aboard one train, said a blast struck a first-class compartment as the train was moving, ripping through the compartment and killing more than a dozen people.

Some of the injured frantically dialed their cell phones.

Another CNN-IBN reporter said he had seen more than 20 bodies at one Bombay hospital.

The Press Trust of India, citing railway officials, said all the blasts had hit first-class cars.

Pranay Prabhakar, the spokesman for the Western Railway, said all train service had been suspended and appealed to the public to stay away from stations in the city.

The bombings in Bombay came hours after a series of grenade attacks by Islamic extremists killed eight people in the main city of India's part of Kashmir.

Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan in war after they gained independence from Britain in 1947, and they fought another full-scale conflict over the region in 1965.

But even as the two nuclear rivals have talked peace in the past two years, New Delhi has continued to accuse Pakistan of training, arming and funding the militants. Islamabad insists it only offers the rebels diplomatic and moral support.

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