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Fire on moving train kills 65 passengers in central Pakistan

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Islamabad: At least 65 people have died after a train travelling through Punjab province in Pakistan caught fire, trapping many on board.

The fire started when a gas cylinder used for cooking food exploded, local media reported, and the blaze then spread across three carriages.

The fire destroyed three of the train’s carriages near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province.

“Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire,” Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Geo television.  “Most deaths occurred from people jumping off the train,” he added.

Mazari said the train was the Tezgam, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most popular train services, which runs between the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to Islamabad, and the southern port city of Karachi.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and has ordered that the injured be provided top of the line medical care.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

In July, at least 23 people were killed in the same district when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.

Accidents often happen at unmanned crossings, which frequently lack barriers and sometimes signals.

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Groom shot dead at wedding venue in UP district

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Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh): A groom was shot dead by unidentified assailants just before he reached the ‘mandap’ for the wedding ceremony.

The incident took place on Tuesday night in Masirpur bazaar locality in Devgaon police circle.

According to reports, the ‘baraat’ had come from Singhpur and just as the groom was walking towards the ‘mandap, two bike-borne assailants came and sprayed him with bullets.

The groom was taken to a nearby medical facility where he was declared brought dead.

Angry family members created a ruckus at the hospital after which the police came and sent the body for post mortem.

A number of family members, both from the groom and the bride side, have been detained for interrogation to ascertain the motive behind the crime.

The police said that the killers were probably following the groom from a distance and attacked him when the ceremony was about to begin.

There were no CCTV cameras in the area.

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