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Bomb attack on train kills six

world Updated: Sep 26, 2008 19:18 IST
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A powerful bomb on a railway track derailed a passenger train in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province on Friday, killing at least six people, including a woman and three children, and injuring 15 others.

The explosion occurred at 1 pm local time when the train was heading to the city of Bahawalnagar, an official of the Pakistan Railways said.

The blast left six people dead and 15 injured. Among the dead were three children and a woman, who were killed on the spot, witnesses said.

Local residents took the injured to nearby hospitals in private cars. Hospital sources said six of the injured were in critical condition.

"There was an explosion. The debris at the site indicates that it was a bomb blast," Pakistan Railways General Manager Nasir Zaidi told a TV channel.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast, which came almost a week after a suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with over half a tonne of explosives into the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing more than 50 people and injuring 266.

In today's blast, the three-coach train derailed about 15 minutes after it left the railway station at Hasilpur, a small town in the area, an official said. Two coaches derailed while the engine and another coach were not affected.

Senior police and railway officials rushed to the site of the accident and monitored rescue and relief activities. People had to cut through the twisted metal of the coaches to pull out the injured.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and the killing of innocent people.

In a message, Zardari said such acts would not deter the government's resolve to fight terrorism and extremism.

He said the perpetrators of such heinous crimes would be brought to justice.

Gilani directed authorities to investigate the act of sabotage and apprehend those responsible for it at the earliest.