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French prosecutors probe railway vandalism

Text by FRANCE 3 , FRANCE 24 , AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-10

French anti-terror prosecutors launched an inquiry after a series of sabotage attacks on high-speed train lines delayed tens of thousands of passengers. France's rail network has been hit by several high-profile incidents in recent months.

A French high-speed passenger train has rammed into concrete blocks placed on its track, in what appeared to be yet another attack on the national rail network, the government said Monday.
   
"A TGV train hit two concrete blocks placed on the line," Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau told Europe 1 radio. "Apparently this was another malicious act."
   
The incident happened late Sunday near Narbonne, southwest France, on a train heading from the Belgian capital Brussels to Perpignan, said the SNCF state-run rail company.
   
No-one was injured in the incident, which damaged the nose of the train. The TGV was able to carry on with its journey and arrived at its destination one hour late.
   
On Saturday, passengers on a total of 160 TGV, Eurostar and Thalys trains suffered delays or cancellations in the north, east and southeast of France after high-speed rail lines were attacked.
   
Vandals jammed iron bars into overhead power electricity cables in at least three locations. Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has ordered a top-level inquiry into those incidents.
   
France's normally efficient rail network is a source of national pride, but in recent months it has been hit with a series of high-profile incidents, some caused by infrastructure problems but several by vandalism.
   
 

Date created : 2008-11-10

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