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Three arrested over deadly train collision in Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The picture, taken on November 24, 2016, shows train wagons on fire after a collision in the north-central Iranian province of Semnan.

Judicial authorities in Iran have arrested three railway employees, including two senior staffers, as part of an investigation into a recent deadly train collision in the north-central Iranian province of Semnan.

On Friday, a total of 45 people lost their lives and 103 others were injured in the collision of two passenger trains at a station in Semnan.

Semnan’s Prosecutor-General Heydar Asiabi said on Saturday that the head of the railway’s command and control center for northeast Iran, the head of the track control center, and the individual in charge of the particular shift at the center when the collision occurred had been arrested.

Asiabi referred to a message written by Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani to the provincial Court of Justice to urge the expedient implementation of follow-up measures and said the Court acted accordingly.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has offered condolences over the train accident as well as a terrorist attack in Iraq that killed at least 73 people, including many Iranians, on Thursday.

The picture shows the wreckage of a truck following a bombing that targeted pilgrims returning from the Arba’een commemoration in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, in the Iraqi village of Shomali, southeast of Baghdad, November 24, 2016. (By AFP)

In a message on Saturday, the Leader said the train collision had been caused by “intentional or unintentional mistakes and imprudence” on the part of those with relevant responsibilities, striking the families of the victims with grief.

“I ask authorities and those with responsibilities in both the domestic and foreign [affairs] area not to easily pass by these painful incidents and make the tackling of such traumas at their roots their top priority,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has expressed assurances of the stern criminal prosecution of those who have either intentionally or inadvertently caused the crash.

A motion has also been drawn up at the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) to impeach Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, over the train accident.

The motion, which has drawn 20 signatures, is to be presented to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani next Sunday.

The speaker of the Parliament has asked Majlis’ Civil Commission to send a committee tasked with probing the incident to the crash site and submit a final report to the legislature.

In the Saturday message, Ayatollah Khamenei also referred to the terrorist attack in the Shomali Village in the suburbs of al-Hillah, near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and described the bombing as a “cowardly” and “outrageous” act.

The terrorist assault, which was carried out by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, involved a truck bomb that exploded at a gas station in the Shomali Village, killing at least 73 people, including many Iranians, on Thursday.

The Leader said the Takfiris detested the massive demonstration of religious devotion in a secure environment by Muslims on the occasion of Arba’een, the 40th day since the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), a grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and sought to take revenge with the bombing.

Similar terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world, such as in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, once again remind Muslims of the threat posed by Takfiris and the states supporting them, Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

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