The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Yet another terrorist strike on trains

Tuesday 11 July 2006 at 11:39 pm

This morning I caught a later bus than normal to UWA, and started chatting to a friendly bloke from Saudi Arabia after he asked me how to find the Alex LT. In that ten minutes I learned more about Middle Eastern politics than what I’ve picked up from years of reading newspapers. In particular, he told me some interesting stories about conflict between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims in his country, such as blatant discrimination for mining jobs in the oil-rich areas where most of the Shi’a minority live.

This is suddenly relevant, I think, considering that barely a year after the London bombings, terrorists have struck commuter trains again, this time in Mumbai (a.k.a. Bombay). This happened three hours ago, so no one’s claimed responsibility, but the early finger-pointing is at Islamic terrorists angry at the situation in Kashmir. (Some of our American friends are pointing to Al-Qaeda or others, but hey.)

More details are on various local blogs. There’s been the inevitable traffic chaos (Mumbai has one of the busiest railway systems in the world) and unsurprising responses from Pakistan’s government and India’s opposition party, but it is slightly worrying that the Indian PM has announced he’ll “take all possible measures to … defeat the forces of terrorism”. Little more than a heat-of-the-moment populist reaction, sure, but do I sense shades of the G.W. Bush school of anti-terrorism?

Meanwhile, over in the Horn of Africa, another group of Islamists has taken control of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. It was sad a few years back when I read about how that country self-imploded in the early 90s, and it’s even sadder to see it happening all over again …