Rebel blast derails train in India, killing 2

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2009 6:20 AM

A passenger train derailed after Maoist rebels blew up a key track in eastern India, killing two people and injuring at least 30 others, a police official said Friday.

The rebels bombed the track shortly before the train passed through a sparsely populated area in Jharkhand state Thursday night, said Sindhu Hembram, a deputy inspector general of police.

Eight of the train's coaches went off the tracks and toppled over, killing one woman instantly, Hembram said.

An infant died a few hours later, said Vivek Srivastava, a railway spokesman.

Five of the 30 injured passengers were in critical condition, said B.N. Mete, a railway official.

Efforts were under way Friday to clear and repair the track, which is one of the main rail routes linking the cities of Calcutta and Mumbai.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades, demanding land and jobs for farm laborers and the poor. Thousands of people, including police, militants and civilians, have died in the violence in recent years.

The rebels called for a 24-hour strike in Jharkhand on Friday to protest next week's elections for the state legislature.