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Blast Strikes Russian Rail Line

Investigators at the site of the blast on a railway line near Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, on February 2..
An explosion has struck a handcar on a rail line in northwestern Russia, injuring the operator's leg.

Authorities were investigating the incident, but the cause was not immediately clear.

A RIA Novosti suggested a small stretch of track was damaged on a rail line leading to Belarus.

Such incidents rekindle fears of the kind of frequent attacks that wracked the country five years before, when Chechen rebels were blamed for a bombing campaign.

More recently, a Kaliningrad-Moscow passenger train was halted in Belarus over a bomb scare.

Twenty-six people were killed when an explosion derailed the "Nevsky Express" high-speed passenger train overnight on November 27-28 on the main route between Moscow and Russia's second city, Saint Petersburg.

Days later, on November 30, a blast hit a passenger train in the troubled southern republic of Daghestan, but no injuries were reported.

Islamic militants from the North Caucasus claimed responsibility for that attack.

Two men were recently convicted of minor charges in connection with an attack on a passenger train in 2007 in northwestern Russia that injured about 60 people aboard the "Nevsky Express."

compiled from agency and RFE/RL reports