Explosion derails passenger train in Pakistan

A bomb explosion on a railroad track derailed a passenger train Monday shortly after it was attacked by gunmen in southwestern Pakistan, police said. There were no immediate reports of injury.

The blast blew up a portion of the track, sending the train's engine and two cars off the rails as it approached a railway station in the village of Hasipur, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Quetta, said Gul Khan Sasoli, a senior police official.

Only 50 passengers were on the train, which can carry 550 people, when it derailed 15 minutes after gunmen attacked with assault rifles in the mountainous region, Sasoli said.

Bullets hit the train but did not hit any of the people inside as it passed through the area of Aab-e-Gom, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, said Ghulam Rasool, traffic controller at the state-run Pakistan Railways.

Security forces deployed in the rugged area to protect the railway line returned fire and the gun battle was continuing more than an hour later, he said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the train shooting and bombing.

But renegade tribesmen have been blamed for small-scale bombings on railroads and rocket attacks on security forces in Baluchistan, a vast and impoverished province, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team