Friday, August 6, 2010

Los Angeles Times-Train Robbers Ride the Rails in India

Altaf Qadri/Associated Press
(Story reported by Mark Magnier)

Several dozen outlaws boarded the long-distance train to New Delhi early Friday and made their way to four air-conditioned sleeper carriages on the 17-car train, confident they would house the better-heeled passengers.

Working swiftly, the scofflaws jolted sleepy passengers awake, beating any who resisted and relieving them of about $20,000 in valuables before escaping onto the dark plains.

While this might sound like a scene from the Wild West, it remains a relatively common occurrence in India. A similar incident occurred two days earlier, part of what experts estimate are more than 100 armed great and small train robberies each year.

Corruption, poorly paid security forces, political infighting and weak governance leave significant swaths of the country just on the edge of government control, vulnerable to insurgents trying to carve out a separate homeland and to opportunistic criminals.

(click here to read the full story on the Los Angeles Times website) 

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