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Explosion Rips Through Bombay Train - 2003-03-13

A bomb blast has ripped through a train in the Indian city of Bombay, killing at least nine people and wounding nearly 50 others. It is the latest in a string of blasts to hit the city in recent months.

Police say the bomb exploded on a carriage reserved for women passengers just as the crowded train was entering a suburban station in Bombay. The train was pakced with commuters going home.

Eyewitnesses say the roof of the carriage was blown off by the powerful blast. Several women are among those killed or injured. Police say many of the victims sustained serious injuries.

Among the passengers was Kirit Somiya, a member of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata party. She described the scene as "horrible". Eyewitnesses said all that remained of the bombed carriage was twisted, broken metal.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Thursday's blast is the deadliest in a string of explosions that hit the city in recent months. In December, a bomb on a city bus killed two people and injured about 30 others. Earlier this year, about 30 people were injured when a bomb went off in a busy market. City authorities ordered heightened security in public places after those explosions.

Indian authorities have sounded an alert in other cities, including rail stations in the capital city New Delhi following the blast in Bombay.

Thursday's blast comes a day after the 10th anniversary of a wave of bomb blasts that killed more than 250 people in the city. Those bombs were planted in retaliation for Hindu-Muslim riots sparked by the demolition of a mosque in Northern India by a Hindu mob in 1992.