In the first major terror strike in India after 26/11, nine people were killed and 45 injured when a high-intensity bomb
One victims is a foreigner; the identity of the rest had not been ascertained till late Saturday.
“It’s a terror attack. A CBI team is being sent to Pune,” Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said.
The blast occurred at 7 pm. People in the vicinity heard an explosion and initially suspected it to be a cylinder blast.
The German Bakery, a favourite haunt for foreigners, is located just across the road from Osho Ashram. A Jewish Chabad house and a synagogue are 500 metres away from the bakery.
“A bomb disposal squad confirmed it to be a bomb blast. Details of the explosives used are being ascertained,” said a spokesperson of the Army’s Southern Command headquartered at Pune.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “All the cylinders in the bakery are intact. Therefore, the blast could be due to something else.”
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajendra Sonawane said, “Prima facie, it appears to be a bomb blast”.
The injured have been admitted to Sassoon and Budhani hospitals. Arun Jamkar, dean of Sassoon Hospital, said eight victims are critical.
Eyewitnesses told HT they saw four bodies lying inside the bakery and four on the road.
“There was a loud explosion. Two-three seconds later, we saw bodies lying on the road,” said Nilesh (35), who runs a hotel adjacent to German Bakery.
The blast tore the shed of the bakery apart and adjacent shops also suffered damages.
Suspected Lashkar-e-Tayy-eba operative David Headley had visited Pune in July 2008 and March 2009. The US citizen stayed at Surya Villa in Koregaon Park on both occasi-ons and visited Osho Ashram.