Sri Lanka condemns India train bombing as ‘abominable’

COLOMBO, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Tuesday condemned as an “abominable act of terrorism” the firebombing of a train from India to Pakistan that killed 68 people.

Sri Lanka, which is battling a separatist campaign by Tamil rebels, said terrorism was a scourge that affected many nations and that the international community “must deal with this affront to civilization resolutely.”

“As a fellow South Asian nation that continues to be affected by similar acts of terror, Sri Lanka firmly takes its place with the governments and people of India and Pakistan,” the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said.

The bombing occurred at a station 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the Indian capital late Sunday turning the Samjhuata Express into a fireball.

The train was travelling from New Delhi to Lahore in neighboring Pakistan and has been dubbed the “Friendship Express.”

“This abominable act of terrorism on the Samjhuata Express which essentially is a ‘peace’ train deserves the condemnation of all right-thinking people,” the foreign ministry statement said.

Most of the victims were Pakistani nationals taking the cross-border train home.