Nine Persons reported killed in Terrorist Attack near Osho Resort. Sannyasin hang-out of German Bakery under attack
Explosives planted in bakery frequented by western sannyasins
In a major terror strike after the November 26, 2008 carnage in Mumbai, nine persons including four foreigners, all women, were killed and over 40 injured in a bomb blast which ravaged the famous German Bakery on North Main Avenue in Pune’s Koregaon Park near the Osho Ashram around 7.30 p.m. on Saturday. Unofficial figures put the number of injured at 50.
The bodies were charred beyond recognition.
An eyewitness who was travelling in an autorickshaw said he heard a loud explosion and blacked out. Another eyewitness said bodies were scattered and more than 10 were seen at the site. Four shops were damaged near the bakery, which has been there for 22 years.
The bag containing the bomb was said to be under a table, according to one account, and a waiter is said to have tried to open it. This caused the explosion which devastated the bakery, located near both the Pune Resort and the Jewish Chabad House.
Sources said the bakery was close to a hotel where Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley had stayed while visiting Osho Ashram.
The Indian Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has also reached Pune, apart from forensic experts. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will reach there by Sunday.
The blast has sent shockwaves in Pune, prompting a high alert in Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra. The police have been asked to look out for unattended baggage.
Joint Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane said that prima facie it looked like a bomb blast.
Congress city president Abhay Chhajed confirmed the number of deaths. “I myself have seen six bodies at the Sassoon Hospital. There are more at other hospitals.” He said the injured had been taken to Ruby Hall, Jehangir, Budhrani and Sassoon hospitals in the city.
The bakery is a popular spot with sannyasins. Six or eight of the injured are said to be foreign nationals.
Mr. Chavan has announced ex gratia payment of Rs. 1 lakh to each of the families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the injured.
Security for the Indian and South African cricket teams has been tightened. The second test match is beginning in Kolkata on Sunday.
Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi said: “I appeal to the people of Pune to be calm. Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe, who is at the site, has confirmed to me that it was bomb blast. Further details are awaited.