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Terrorists Kill 130 In India Train Bombing

From the "Paper Of Treason," the New York Times:

Bombs Explode on Trains in India, Killing More Than 130

By AMELIA GENTLEMAN, International Herald Tribune

July 11, 2006

NEW DELHI, July 11 — Seven bomb blasts ripped through crowded rush-hour trains today in Mumbai, India’s business capital, killing more than 130 people and wounding many more, and putting cities across India on high alert.

The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, called an emergency cabinet meeting and said terrorists were behind the attacks, The Associated Press reported from Mumbai. And the home minister, Shivraj Patil, told reporters that the authorities had some information that an attack was coming, “but the place and time was not known.”

All the bombs were understood to have been detonated within minutes of one another on moving trains that were taking commuters from the city center to the suburbs. Witnesses described the explosions as high in intensity, and the police said the attack was carefully planned and coordinated.

No organization came forward to claim responsibility for the explosions in the immediate hours after the explosions.

The Indian news media, however, was quick to highlight the possible involvement of Kashmiri militant groups fighting for the separation of their Muslim-majority state from India. The Mumbai attacks came hours after a number of coordinated grenade attacks by Islamist extremists killed eight people in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The orchestration of several blasts in quick succession, like those in the Mumbai attacks, is considered to be a common tactic employed by Kashmiri groups, and the precise coordination suggested the involvement of a well-established militant organization. One of the most notorious militant groups active in Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Toiba, was implicated in the multiple bombings last October in crowded New Delhi markets, in which 63 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded.

Scenes of confusion in Mumbai late today were broadcast on Indian television. On one train, screaming commuters tried to escape from mangled rail cars, while distressed travelers tried to lift badly wounded fellow passengers off the tracks to safety. The force of the explosion tore off the train’s windows and doors, and body parts could be seen among the mechanical wreckage on the railway sidings.

News reports indicated that the scale and the geographical range of the multiple attacks overwhelmed the city’s emergency services, and many wounded passengers were forced to make their way to the hospital on foot. Officials said a sudden monsoon downpour was making the rescue operation difficult. Phone networks were jammed in the city of 16 million, adding to the chaos in the aftermath of the explosions.

The Mumbai police chief, A.N. Roy, told Indian television that an estimated 135 people had killed and more than 250 had been wounded. Officials indicated that the final casualty toll could be much higher. At peak times each train car is designed to hold between 400 and 600 people.

On some trains, the alarm was so intense that passengers were reported to have thrown themselves from moving cars after hearing the blasts. Most of the bombs were understood to have gone off in first-class cars.

Despite a recent improvement in relations between Pakistan and India, officials in Delhi have continued to berate Pakistan for failing to clamp down on militant activity in its territory. Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, came out swiftly to condemn the attacks late today, describing the event as a “despicable act of terrorism.”

Of course the Treason Times does its level best to downplay the fact that Islamic terrorists are the prime suspects.

They don’t want to rush to judgment, you know.

Not with their friends, anyway.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 11th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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