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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 4:12 pm    Post subject: THE REASON FOR THE EXPLOSION. Reply with quote

Read this carefully.
The battle might have already started.



DEBKAfile reveals: Hundreds of tons of explosives bound for Taleban in Kandahar believed aboard the train whose explosion killed at least 300 Iranians and destroyed five villages Wednesday. According to unconfirmed reports from Tehran, the colossal blast was caused by sabotage. Read more in DEBKAfile Exclusiv

Iran's death train was carrying explosives to Afghanistan

18 February, 2003

DEBKAfile's exclusive sources in Tehran report:

Little credence is given in Tehran to the official claim that the colossal train explosion which killed at least 300 people and razed five villages in the northeastern Khorassan province Wednesday was caused by colliding wagons carrying industrial chemicals and fertilizers, as well as diesel fuel and cotton. Such flammable freights are usually shipped separately in Iran.

DEBKAfile’s sources note that Iranian officials, two days before a highly controversial parliamentary election, are doing their best to play down the disaster outside Neyshabur which rocked houses 50 miles away in Mashad. The Islamic Republican News Agency tried to blame an earth tremor of 3.6 magnitude, but the US Geological Institute in Colorado said no seismic activity was recorded in the area.

Most of the dead were fire and rescue workers, but also the city’s governor Mojtaba Farahmand-Nekou, its mayor and fire chief.

DEBKA’s sources in Tehran have heard unconfirmed reports that the disaster was no accident, but possibly sabotage carried out by anti-government forces in Khorassan province, which borders on Afghanistan. This report ties in with another that claims the train was not carrying innocent industrial cargoes but hundreds of tons of explosive materials Iran was smuggling into Afghanistan via the Shiite city of Herat to be used by Iranian saboteurs and agents for guerrilla attacks on US troops and the forces of President Hamid Karzai, as well for supplying the Taleban in their Kandahar stronghold.

DEBKAfile’s sources report that there were a series of blasts; the first inside the Neyshabur train station was powerful enough to trigger a second explosion in the remote station of Khayyam. There, it set ablaze another train carrying fuel and other flammable material.

Iran has long used Khorassan province as a conduit for smuggling thousands of its agents into Afghanistan. But the province is also home to nearly two million Afghan refugees, some of whom hire out as agents to the Kabul government or the US military. The suggestion is that a group of these agents were ordered to blow up the train when it pulled into Neyshabur. Their mission: to deter the Iranians from further meddling in Afghanistan.

It would not have been hard to persuade Afghan refugees to undertake the mission. As Sunni Muslims, they harbor strong feelings of resentment against their discrimination at the hands of Iran’s Shiite majority. Three years ago, Afghans were responsible for a large explosion in Mashad, an attack launched after Iran ordered the destruction of a makeshift mosque the refugees had built. Several weeks later, a similar blast occurred in Zahedan, capital of Iran’s Baluchestan province, where Iranian authorities had pulled down another mosque constructed by the refugees.

It just so happens that in the historic town of Neyshabur, site of Wednesday’s horror, the 11th century poet Omar Khayam was born and buried.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:44 pm    Post subject: Over 300 killed in Iranian train explosion Reply with quote

Must Watch Sad Video From Iran: Over 300 killed in Iranian train explosion

Over 300 killed in Iranian train explosion
460 people injured in fuel-chemical blast

The Associated Press

updated 10:55 a.m. PT, Thurs., Feb. 19, 2004
NEYSHABUR, Iran - Rescuers choking on fumes extinguished the blaze Thursday of dozens of train cars carrying fuel and chemicals that derailed and exploded, while this city buried its governor and residents scanned lists of the dead for friends and relatives among the more than 300 people killed.

Bulldozers and cranes were used to sort through the debris of villages and train wreckage 20 miles east of Neyshabur, and emergency workers collected human remains torn by a blast so powerful it devastated five villages, collapsing mud homes.

Burning freight cars from Wednesday morning's derailment were put out shortly before dawn Thursday, with firefighters persisting through the night despite freezing temperatures and fumes. The explosion left a crater about 50 feet deep.

In Neyshabur, stunned residents came out for the funeral of their governor, Mojtaba Farahmand-Nekou, who was among several city officials at the scene, including the fire chief, who were killed when the train cars exploded hours after the derailment. More than 20,000 mourners, all wearing black, looked on as the body, wrapped in the red, white and green Iranian flag was driven through the city.

Three days of mourning
Shops and offices closed for three days of mourning. Survivors looked through lists of the dead posted outside hospitals and clinics.

Alireza Babaie, who was in his 70s, was looking for the name of a friend who was coming to visit him from the provincial capital, Mashhad.

"His family said he was on his way, and he should have reached here by now. I don't know where he is, and I hope to God he is not among the dead," said Babaie, who was in his 70s.

Hassan Rasouli, governor of Iran's northeastern Khorasan province, told reporters 309 bodies had been recovered by midday Thursday. He said 460 people had been injured.

The explosion occurred hours after runaway train cars carrying fuel, industrial chemicals and cotton derailed, overturned and caught fire in northeastern Iran. The blast was so large that windows in homes as far as six miles away were shattered. In an apparent indication of the explosion's force, Iranian seismologists recorded a 3.6-magnitude tremor in the area at the moment of the blast.

"The entire area around me shook," said Hussein Hassani, who saw the blast from several miles away. "It felt like a strong earthquake, but because the buildings didn't collapse (where I was) I knew it wasn't. Smoke could be seen ... for hours."

Village flattened
Police sealed about a half-square-mile area around the blast scene near Neyshabur, a historical city home to 170,000 people about 400 miles east of Tehran.

The clay-home village of Dehnow, which was closest to the blast at about 500 yards away, was flattened and many Dehnow residents were believed to have been killed. The rest appeared to have been evacuated.

Shortly after the explosion, black plumes of smoke and orange flames billowing into the sky from the cars, 17 of which were loaded with sulfur, six with gasoline, seven with fertilizer and 10 with cotton. Dozens of people, some wearing face masks, were walking in the area or putting out flames.

Authorities were investigating what caused the 51 cars to roll out of the Abu Muslim train station at 4 a.m. local time. Forty-eight of the cars derailed on reaching the next stop at Khayyam, about 12 miles away, and caught fire.

Firefighters had extinguished 90 percent of the fire when the cars exploded, Mohammad Maqdouri, head of the local emergency operations headquarters, told Tehran television.

Eighty percent of those injured were hurt when their homes collapsed, and the rest were either burned or hurt from the force of the explosion, said Syed Majid Taqizadeh, head of the 22 Bahman hospital, named after the date in the Iranian calendar that coincides with Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Most of the injured were from the village of Hashemabad, Taqizadeh said. Other victims were found in Dehnow, Abdolabad and other nearby villages.

Hashemabad resident Zahra Rezaie, 41, said the she thought the blast was an earthquake.

"It knocked down and broke some dishes. I was sure it was an earthquake, and my first thought was to rush to the school and save my children," said Rezaie, who was cooking lunch for her family when she heard the explosion and felt the ground shake.

In New York, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan conveyed his condolences to the Iranian government and the victims of the disaster, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. He added that the world body was ready to assist those affected by the tragedy.

Neyshabur is at the center of a farming region for cotton, fruit and grain. Other industries include carpets, pottery, leather goods and turquoise. It became one of Persia's foremost cities in the 400 A.D., a center of culture with several important colleges. Omar Khayyam, the 11th century Persian poet, was born in Neyshabur, and is buried there.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4300626/
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