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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

66 Killed in India-Pakistan Train Bomb

DEEWANA, India -- Two bombs exploded on a train from India to Pakistan, sparking a fire that killed at least 66 passengers Monday in what the Indian government called an "act of terrorism."

Most of the victims were Pakistanis, but the victims included some Indians and three railway policemen, officials said. The midnight attack was an apparent attempt to undermine the peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals, officials said.

Two unexploded suitcase bombs were also found on the train. Inside one, an electronic timer encased in clear plastic was packed next to more than one dozen plastic bottles containing a cocktail of fuel oils and chemicals.

The incident came just before Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri was due in New Delhi for talks with Indian leaders to push forward the slow-moving peace process.

Kasuri said his trip would go ahead,while Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the attack would not derail peace efforts.

"We will not allow elements which want to sabotage the ongoing peace process to succeed in their nefarious designs," Musharraf said in a statement.

Police said that while the explosions were small, they were intended to cause fires on at least four of the train's cars.

"It's sabotage -- it's an act of terrorism like the one in Mumbai," Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav told reporters, referring to serial bomb blasts in India's commercial capital last July that killed 186 people.

As is typical on Indian trains, most of the windows in the lower-class compartments were barred with metal rods, meaning many people were trapped inside the train.

Fellow passengers, officials and local villagers fought though choking smoke to pull victims out of doors and emergency exit windows.

"I took a visa to come to India and see relatives, but I never realized it would become the last journey for my family," said Tara Chand, whose three sons and two daughters were missing and feared dead. He was returning to Pakistan after a month in India.

At least 13 people were also injured, with several arriving at a New Delhi hospital, their faces burnt and bandaged.

Two coaches of the Samjhauta Express train, which connects New Delhi to the northern Pakistani city of Lahore, erupted in flames near Deewana town, about 80 kilometers north of the Indian capital, around midnight Sunday.

Carriages were blackened and gutted, paint peeled off with the heat. Burned clothes, shoes and bags littered the floor.

At the morgue in the nearby town of Panipat, bodies were laid out on the floor in blue bags between huge slabs of melting ice. Officials said 30 of the bodies were charred beyond recognition and might never be identified.

The rest of the train, which had been carrying around 600 passengers, continued to the border town of Attari. Passengers were due to get off there and transfer to a Pakistani train.