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At Least 71 Reported Killed In India Train Derailment

Indian police say they believe Maoist rebels are responsible for a train crash today that killed at least 71 people and injured more than 200 in West Bengal state, where a passenger train derailed, then was smashed into by another train.

Officials were quoted as saying the casualty toll could rise.

"It is a clear case of sabotage," West Bengal police chief Bhupinder Singh said, according to AFP. "The Maoists have done it."

Initial reports said the train derailed because of an explosion, but officials later said they were also exploring the possibility that the train jumped the track because fishplates used to secure adjoining sections of track had been removed.

The surrounding area is considered to be a stronghold of Indian Maoist rebels, who are said to have stepped up attacks in recent months.

It was not immediately clear, whether that or any other group was somehow involved in the incident.

compiled from agency reports