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Pakistan Train Bomb Kills 10 People

March 10, 1998

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) _ A bomb exploded today on a train entering the Lahore station, killing 10 people and injuring more than 80, Pakistani police said.

The explosion in Lahore, capital of the eastern Punjab province, followed two other blasts Monday that left 12 dead and at least 50 hurt.

No one has taken responsibility for any of the attacks but police and government officials believe they were linked.

The latest bomb exploded as a train packed with passengers rolled into the Walton station, about a mile from the private residence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

``There was blood everywhere and people were screaming and weeping,″ said passenger Liaquat Ali.

Authorities believe a timed explosive was planted on the early morning train at an earlier stop.

Most of the victims were laborers traveling to Lahore for work from the Punjab town of Kasur, 50 miles south near Pakistan’s border with India.

The blast left body parts strewn across the station, making it difficult for police to identify the dead, said Mohammed Hussain, an ambulance driver with the Edhi Welfare Center.

``Smoke was pouring out of the carriages and many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition or ripped apart,″ he said.

Police were using hacksaws to pry loose passengers trapped inside the train wreckage, witnesses said.

Nearby residents helped rush injured passengers to hospitals before police and paramilitary troops arrived at the station, they said.

On Monday, a bomb ripped through a train near the Punjab town of Pattoki, 35 miles south of Lahore, killing 11 people.

Hours earlier, a bomb exploded outside a courthouse in Sukkur, 360 miles south in Sindh province, killing one person and injuring eight.

Satar said he believed that ``terrorists″ trained in neighboring India or Afghanistan were behind all three blasts.

Pakistani police and government officials blamed a string of bomb attacks last month on India. New Delhi has denied involvement in the four blasts, which killed 16 people.

The two hostile neighbors, who have fought three wars in the past 50 years, routinely blame each other for violence at home.

Pakistan also is wracked by religious and ethnic violence that has left more than 500 people dead in the past year.

The majority of Pakistan’s 140 million people are Sunni Muslims who live in peace alongside the country’s minority Shiite community.

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