Pune toll is 10, police divided over alleged arrests | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Pune toll is 10, police divided over alleged arrests

mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2010 20:38 IST

The death toll in the Pune terror attack rose to 10 Tuesday as a college student succumbed to his burn injuries while a police officer denied a colleague's claim that two suspects had been arrested.

Four teams of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police continued their investigation into the deadly bombing at the iconic German Bakery Saturday evening that also left 60 people injured.

Among the dead were a Nepali worker, an Iranian student and an Italian woman. No group has claimed responsibility, but Indian officials have said the attack appeared to be linked David Headley, a Pakistan-born American Islamist now in a Chicago prison.

Pune Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said two suspects were arrested Monday but declined to give details. But hours later, speaking in Mumbai, Inspector General of Police Rashmi Shukla denied this.

"We are open to everything. We are not ruling out any possibility. We are investigating each and every aspect (of the bombing)," Shukla told reporters. She denied any suspect had been detained or arrested.

She said the ATS was "working with an open mind. We are not leaving anything. No stone will be left unturned".

Nine people were killed in the bombing Saturday, and doctors had said that one of the injured was likely to die since he had suffered multiple fractures and 78 percent burns.

That man, 24-year-old college student Abhishek Saxena, a student of the D.Y. Patil College here, died at the Budhrani Hospital Tuesday morning. He hailed from Uttar Pradesh.

Another 37 victims were undergoing treatment in city hospitals. Of these at least two are reported to be in critical condition.

Satyapal Singh said significant clues had been recovered from the CCTV footage of a hotel opposite the German Bakery, an eatery which was hugely popular with foreigners and young Indians.

"We are now hunting for the prime accused and expect to make an important breakthrough very soon," he said.

Police said the forensic analysis of the blast site had revealed that the bomb, concealed in a backpack, contained a deadly mixture of ammonium nitrate, RDX and petroleum hydrocarbons.

Forensic experts picked up over two kg of material from the blast site.

Police sources said they had reasons to believe that tech-savvy brains were assisting terrorists. This could be gleaned from the technology being put to use to carry out bomb attacks.

In Pune, two men are suspected to have carried the RDX in their backpacks and left them inside the crowded German Bakery before going out and triggering the blast.

India and Pakistan have decided to go ahead with bilateral talks led by their foreign secretaries in New Delhi Feb 25 despite demands from the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that New Delhi should call them off. The BJP has linked the bombing to Islamists who operate out of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a British minister said that his country's travel advisory after the blast would not have an adverse effect on tourist flow to India, which he said was a "very popular destination" for Britons.

Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Pat McFadden said in Chandigarh:
"I cannot comment which country or group is responsible for this attack. It is a matter of concern for Indian authorities. They should make sure to track down the people behind this."