Saturday 29 May 2010

Train terrorist attack?

More than 100 people have now died following the train crash in West Bengal which the Indian authorities are blaming on Maoist rebels (see also my blogs of Oct 5, 2009 and May 19, 2010). The Maoists have denied involvement, but the crash happened in an area where they are strong and police say they found pro-Maoist posters close to the scene.

An 18 inch section of track was missing. This derailed the Gyaneshwar Express passenger train in the Jhargram area about 90 miles west of Calcutta, causing five coaches to fall onto another track where they were rammed by a goods train.

The railways have often been selected as targets by terrorists in India. The most deadly attack came in Mumbai on July 11, 2006 when seven bombs exploded on trains during the evening rush hour. Islamic terrorists were blamed for the resulting deaths of 209 people.

Maoist terrorists were blamed for the derailment of the Rajdhani Express as it crossed a bridge near the town of Rafiganj in Bihar on September 10, 2002. At least 130 people were killed. An inquiry found the track had been sabotaged, but the rebels themselves denied being involved and some experts have cast doubt on the official explanation.

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