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Bomb explodes on Paris subway

crowds in the street

New terrorist act

October 17, 1995
Web posted at: 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT)

From Bureau Chief Peter Humi and wire reports

PARIS (CNN) -- A morning rush hour bombing on a Paris subway train Tuesday injured at least 29 people, police said, five of them seriously. One person had both legs amputated while still on the train. (More from CNN Paris Bureau Chief Peter Humi - 162K AIFF sound or 162K WAV sound)

victims of the bombing

It was the eighth in a series of bombings or bombing attempts since July and, like the others, police are calling Tuesday's explosion an act of terrorism. Police found the remains of a six pound (3 kg) cooking gas canister on the train. It had been filled with explosive and screws serving as shrapnel. Algerian Islamic extremists have claimed responsibility for earlier blasts. They hope to force France to end its aid to Algeria's military rulers. Prime Minister Alain Juppe visited the scene and vowed to continue France's fight against terrorism.

Tuesday's bomb detonated at 7.05 a.m. local time (0605 GMT) as the train was travelling at 60 kph (35 mph) in a tunnel between the Saint-Michel and Orsay Museum Metro stations on "C" line of the RER regional express network. The RER "C" line runs along the left bank of the Seine in the heart of Paris. The bomb was on the second car of the train, police said. Eyewitnesses said the explosion occurred as the train approached the station, creating dense smoke underground and leaving passengers dazed. Dozens of ambulances responded to the emergency.

emergency vehicle

The blast comes a week before French President Jacques Chirac is due to meet Algerian President Liamine Zeroual in New York. Armed Islamic Group (GIA) guerrillas fighting to overthrow the Algiers government said earlier this month, in a claim taken seriously by French investigators, that they carried out earlier subway attacks and threatened more.

Most of the earlier bombs were gas canisters packed with nails and bolts, a bloody technique used by the GIA in Algeria. Two were defused by police and one misfired. Not counting Tuesday's explosion, bomb attacks in France have killed seven people and wounded more than 160 since July.


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