Source Pravda.Ru

Indian police release identikits of suspected train bombers

Indian police released sketches Tuesday of two men suspected of planting a pair of bombs that sparked a fire on a train barreling through northern India for Pakistan, killing 68 people in an attack officials said was intended to disrupt relations between the two countries.

The two, whose identities are not known, boarded the train when it left New Delhi on Sunday and soon began arguing with the conductor, saying they were on the wrong train. They were allowed to jump off when the train slowed down about 15 minutes to 20 minutes before the crude bombs detonated, said Sharad Kumar, a senior police official.

The attack "is the handiwork of a militant outfit, but we don't know which group is involved," he told reporters.

The attack appeared intended to disrupt India-Pakistan relations, but following the attack leaders of the South Asian rivals said they would press ahead with their peace process.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri was expected to arrive in the Indian capital later Tuesday for previously scheduled talks that were to go forward as planned, the AP reports.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani passenger on the train was detained Tuesday for questioning, Indian officials said.

"He was found in a drunken state and he's being questioned. But his account has been inconsistent and we have no definite conclusions yet," said Bharti Arora, a senior Haryana state railway police official. The man is a resident of Karachi, Pakistan, she said, declining to provide further details.

The fire destroyed two coaches on the Samjhauta Express about an hour after the train left New Delhi on its way to the Pakistan border. The death toll rose to 68 on Tuesday after a badly burned passenger succumbed at a hospital in New Delhi, said N.C. Wadhwa, a government official.

Officials said the attack was timed ahead of Kasuri's arrival, the AP reports.

"This is an attempt to derail the improving relationship between India and Pakistan, Railway Minister Laloo Prasad told reporters Monday.

Pakistan quickly decried the attack, and Indian officials took pains to avoid laying any quick blame. Each side appeared to reach out across the border.

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