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Pakistani police arrest man trying to ram train

Written by: Staff
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KARACHI, Aug 23 (Reuters) Police in Pakistan have arrested a man who stole a railway locomotive, drove it for 30 km (20 miles) and tried to ram it into a passenger train in an apparent suicide attack, police said today.

The man, identified as Madan Lal, stole the engine from a marshalling yard outside the city of Karachi and was speeding towards a passenger train, the Farid Express, yesterday evening when his engine derailed.

''God helped us avert a major human disaster,'' police officer Irshad Baig told Reuters.

Police managed to derail the engine Lal was driving just two minutes before it would have smashed into the passenger train at a small Karachi station, he said.

Lal tried to run away but was caught, he said.

Lal had driven the locomotive at high speed for about 30 km and he appeared to be an expert driver, Baig said.

''We don't know as yet what his motive was for this attack.

But he apparently knows how to drive a railway engine and had planned it,'' he said.

Senior Railways police officer Malik Mohammad Afzal said Lal appeared to be mentally unstable.

Authorities initially thought he was an Indian but later Lal said he was a Pakistani Hindu from the southern province of Sindh.

''He had given his address in Hyderabad but we have still found no documents on him confirming if he is a Pakistani or an Indian,'' Afzal said.

REUTERS MIR PC2343

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