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India: Fire From Explosions on Train Kill 66


India – Blast: Indian authorities say explosions caused a fire that has burned to death at least 66 people on a train heading to Pakistan from northern India.
Surviving passengers aboard the so-called "Friendship Express" say two explosions tore through a pair of cars shortly before midnight Sunday as the train traveled from New Delhi toward the Pakistani border.
Two unexploded suitcase bombs were also found at the scene.
At least 50 people were injured in the incident. Officials say victims may have been trapped in the burning cars, which had bars on the windows for security reasons.
Both Indians and Pakistanis were among the victims. There were a total of 757 people on board the train, 553 of them Pakistanis
Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the act was meant to prevent an improvement in relations between India and Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed "grief and anger," and vowed that those responsible for the attack will be caught.
Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf said the attack would not be allowed to sabotage a peace process with India.

Iraq: Iraqi police say a series of bombings in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq killed at least 16 people today (Monday)
Police say a bomb exploded on a Baghdad bus heading to the mainly Shi'ite district of Karradah, killing five people and wounding four. Elsewhere, two roadside bombs went off in the Shi'ite district of Zafraniyah, killing at least six people.
In other incidents, a car bomb killed four people in Duluiyah, a town north of Baghdad, while another car bomb killed one person in Mahmoudiya, south of the capital.
On Sunday, three car bombs exploded in mainly Shi'ite areas of Baghdad, killing at least 60 people and wounding about 100. It was the worst violence since U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a new security campaign in the city last week.

U.S. – Mideast: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Israel's prime minister and the Palestinian president have reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the Mideast conflict.
Secretary Rice was speaking today (Monday) after more than two hours of talks with Israeli leader Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at a Jerusalem hotel.
Secretary Rice says they all agreed that a Palestinian state cannot be born out of violence and terrorism. She says Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas agreed to meet again soon, and she promised to return to the region to continue her peace efforts.
But, Rice did not report any breakthroughs in restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which broke down more than six years ago. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders did not speak to the media following the talks.
Her peace mission has been complicated by a recent controversial power-sharing agreement between Mr. Abbas' Fatah faction and the ruling Hamas militant group.

Thailand – Violence: The Thai government is stepping up security in southern Thailand after attacks by separatists killed at least eight people during lunar new year celebrations.
Thailand's prime minister (, Surayud Chulanot,) called an emergency meeting of security chiefs today (Monday) to add more troops to the 20-thousand police and military personnel already stationed in southern Thailand.
On Sunday evening, more than 30 simultaneous bombings targeting karaoke lounges, hotels, schools, and service stations injured at least 72 people in the country's south (, the provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla).
Police say the attacks appeared to target Buddhists and people of Chinese descent celebrating the start of the lunar new year.

Cambodia – New Party: Cambodian officials say the U.S.-based son of a former general who toppled the country's government in a 1970 coup has formed his own political party.
A spokesman for the new party says Lon Rith has founded the Khmer Republican Party. His father, General Lon Nol, ruled Cambodia from 1970 through 1975.
Cambodia will hold local elections this year and a general election in 2008.

Listen to our World News for details.

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