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By now, most everyone knows about the terrorist bombing on the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan, which killed at least 66 people:

Two bombs exploded aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, sparking a fire that killed at least 66 passengers on Monday, an apparent attempt to sabotage a peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals.

One person was detained in connection with the midnight blasts on the train about 80 km north of New Delhi, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was quoted as saying.

The Samjhauta Express runs between Dehli and Attari in India and Wagah and Lahore in Pakistan twice a week, and is nicknamed the “Friendship Train” or the “Peace Train”, due to its route between the two rival countries. The symbolism of literally trying to derail peace must have been too tempting for the terrorists to resist.

Meanwhile, neither India nor Pakistan appears prepared to take the bait:

There was no finger-pointing by India and Pakistan, as there has been so often in the past after violent attacks.

The prime ministers of the two countries called each other and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the attack would not be allowed to undermine the two countries’ peace efforts.

Progress? Or numbness to terrorism in a part of the world that has seen far too much of it already? It’s hard to say. But more people are dead for no reason today. That’s all anyone can state for certain. The rest? Who knows?

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I can’t help it. But my first cynical reaction to today’s horrific terrorist transit bombings in Mumbai was that the reaction in the Western media wouldn’t be anywhere near as frenzied as it was for 9/11, 3/11, or 7/7, because to much of the world, India is just so far away and remote and different from us and an attack in India is not as immediate or threatening as an attack in New York or Madrid or London.

Of course, that’s not really the case. We’re one world and the reverberations of today’s attacks will be felt everywhere. But the knee-jerk cynicism is there just the same, and it says otherwise.

Over 150 people are dead for no good reason today. Hopefully we won’t lose sight of that.


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