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Bomb explodes on passenger train in Bombay, killing 10 people
BOMBAY, India -- A bomb exploded on a passenger train Thursday at a station in Bombay, India's financial hub, killing at least 10 people and wounding 65.
Eight of those killed were women, as the explosive went off between the women's first-class compartment and the general compartment, senior government official Utal Mukhopadhyay said.
Bombay Police Commissioner Ranjit Sharma said 15 of those injured were in serious condition. "There seems to be the hand of a terrorist group," Sharma told reporters. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The blast blew off part of the roof of the train car, causing panic in the station crowded with commuters heading home after work.
One witness, Pratiksha Naik, reached the scene a few minutes after the blast. "I saw police helping passengers smeared in blood out of the train," Naik said by telephone.
Security was tightened in the city on India's west coast and surveillance increased in public places. Security was also put on alert at the Parliament building in New Delhi and other landmarks in the capital.
Islamic hardline groups have carried out at least two crude bomb attacks in the past four months in Bombay, located on India's western coast, police said.
Thursday's blast was bigger than those, said Mukhopadhyay.
Thursday was the 10th anniversary of a dozen simultaneous bomb explosions in Bombay that targeted the Bombay Stock Exchange, offices of the national airline, the state passport office and other sites. Those attacks, blamed on Muslim militants retaliating for the destruction of a 16th-century mosque by Hindus, killed 257 people and wounded at least 1,100.
"We had increased security because we had information that some incident of this kind could happen around the anniversary. Unfortunately, it still happened," said Kripa Shankar Singh, home minister of Maharashtra state.
Officials said that a security alert was raised at railroad stations across India and sensitive installations in Bombay after the blast.
Survivor Avdyut Deshpande, 24, was in the coach next to the womens' coach. He suffered burns on his chest and hands.
"The blast was horrifying," he said. "Everyone was shouting for help, but we were all helpless."