Indian probe underway over deadly bomb blast

The Indian government said it had little idea who was behind a bomb in a tourist eatery in western India that killed nine people.

Indian probe underway over deadly bomb blast

The Indian government said it had little idea who was behind a bomb in a tourist eatery in western India that killed nine people.

The bomb, left in a backpack under a table at the popular German Bakery in the city of Pune, also wounded 57 and was the country's first big attack since the 2008 Mumbai attack and appeared to target both Indian and foreign tourists.

Six of the dead were Indians; the rest had not yet been identified, and there may be one foreigner among them, a senior police officer said. Ten foreigners were injured, including Iranians, Sudanese, Nepalis, a Taiwanese and a German.

"We heard a big noise and we all rushed out. The impact was so much that there were tiny body parts everywhere," said Vinod Dhale, an employee at the bakery.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 32 people.

"Intelligence alert"

"Let us wait for the forensic report before we draw any conclusion," said Home (interior) Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram. "Let us not speculate," he urged reporters.

"Nothing is ruled out, nothing is ruled in. The investigation is in progress," Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram denied there was an intelligence failure.

"There is no intelligence failure. This particular area has been on the radar for quite some time. But this was not an overt attack by a gunman, but an insidious attack with a bomb planted in a soft target," he told reporters in Pune.

The explosion came a day after India and Pakistan agreed to high-level talks in New Delhi on Feb. 25, suspended after 166 people were killed during a three-day rampage through the financial capital of Mumbai in November 2008.

In response to a question on whether the proposed talks between India and Pakistan would now be suspended, Chidambaram said that was a diplomatic process that would be determined in Delhi after he returned there.

Police in Pune, located about 160 km (100 miles) south of Mumbai, had been alerted to the possibility of attacks on Osho ashram and Chabad House, which had also been targeted during the Mumbai attacks, Chidambaram said.

Authorities have warned of renewed threats of attacks on Indian soil and stepped up security in recent months.

Airports and railway stations across the country have been put on high alert after the blast and extra security given to the South African and Indian cricket teams playing in India.

Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Şubat 2010, 10:22
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