Terror trail: 4 killed in train blast; three militants die in encounter

Almost a week after the deadly Marriott Hotel bombing, at least four people were killed and over a dozen wounded in Pakistan on Friday as a powerful bomb on a railway track derailed a passenger train in the eastern Punjab province. This points to an alarming trend of suspected Islamist terror groups increasingly targeting civilians instead of focusing on military or government personnel and establishments.

Friday's blast occurred as the engine of the Bahawalnagar-Bahawalpur passenger train passed over the bomb near Hasilpur in the south of Punjab province. The first coach of the train was derailed under the impact while the second coach was also damaged, said the Railways General Manager Nasir Zaidi. The victims included a Railway Police constable and three children, reports said, adding that five of the injured were in a critical condition.

In another incident, three militants said to belong to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi outfit blew themselves up on Friday in a house in Karachi after an hour-long encounter with the police. Police said they also found the body of a kidnapped local businessman who supplied fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan and they recovered about 10 kg of explosives, two suicide jackets,seven pistols and 12 hand grenades.

Security was tightened further in Pakistan's commercial capital after the incident as it came hours before PM Yousuf Raza Gilani was due to arrive in the city. Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Bhutto said the raid showed that violence was not limited to the North West Frontier Province or the FATA region.

Pakistan has been edgy since last week's suicide truck-bombing of the Islamabad Marriott hotel in which 53 people were killed and over 250 wounded. This was the last Friday before Eid and authorities feared fresh suicide attacks as militants are thought to believe that they will gain passage to paradise if they are killed in jihad on the holy day. Security experts say the new violence only shows that Islamist terror groups are getting desperate due to the increased attacks on them on the Afghan-Pakistan border and were stepping up attacks in the hinterland to increase the spread of the conflict.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.