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Russia train bombing: a return of terrorism?

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MOSCOW - Russians had thought such terrorist attacks were in the past.

But they are now digesting the official report that "terrorism" is the most likely explanation for an explosion on a popular intercity train that killed at least 26 people and injured more than 100 on Friday night.

"The main theory [being pursued by investigators] is that this explosion was caused by an explosive device planted by unidentified persons, or to put it plainly, a terrorist act," the head of the Russian Railways company, Vladimir Yakunin, told Russian state TV on Saturday night.

Russians have been here before. Ten years ago, as unrest in Russia's southern republic of Chechnya spiraled out of control, a series of still-unexplained apartment bombings killed almost 300 people in their sleep in Moscow and two other Russian cities.

Terrorists struck repeatedly in the next few years, killing hundreds in the siege of a Moscow theater, in an explosiion at a Moscow rock concert, in the downing two airliners in mid-flight, and five years ago, a horrific attack on a school in Beslan that ended with 330 people dead, most of them children.

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