Sunday, February 14, 2010

Terror attack kills eight in Pune, India

According to reports from agencies at least eight people have been killed and 33 others injured in a powerful bomb blast in a on a restaurant in India's western city of Pune. The explosion ripped apart the German Bakery, in Koregaon Park, is a landmark eatery that is very popular with tourists. It is located close to the Osho Ashram in the city's upscale Koregaon area, usually teeming with foreigners. Though the nationalities of the dead are not known yet, reports say, at least one of the dead is a foreign national. The explosion was set of at about 7 PM (1330 GMT) when the restaurant was packed with diners.

Many among the victims live in the area, work there or are visitors, while some others are students. Pune has a large population of foreign students and the site of the blast the German Bakery is a favourite hangout for foreigners and locals alike. So the explosion might have been planned with the purpose of killing foreigners along with locals and attracting international attention.

The blast, which Maharashtra state officials described as a bomb blast is the first major attack India has faced since the Mumbai bombings by terrorists in 2008.

"We heard a big noise and we all rushed out. The impact was so much that there were tiny body parts everywhere," Vinod Dhale, who works at the restaurant, told Reuters news agency.

According to senior police official Rajendra Sonawane ‘there was an abandoned bag which seems to have contained some IED (improvised explosive device)’.

Also, according to highly placed sources in intelligence agencies that told CNN-IBN the Indian Mujahideen, the militant group blamed for a series of bomb blasts in major Indian cities in 2008, is suspected for the Pune blast on Saturday. The evidence collected from the blast site has the ‘trademark’ of the Indian Mujahideen, reports say, and the group is believed to have built a strong network across Maharashtra and they are believed to have a module in Pune.

Indian Mujahideen was blamed for the serial blasts that killed 13 people in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow on November 23, 2007. It is also blamed for the serial bombing in Jaipur that killed 63 people in May 2008. The attack in Ahmedabad that killed 46 people in July 26, 2008 was also the handiwork of the Indian Mujahideen.

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