Where: Pune, India
February 25, 2010 : On February 13, 2010, a bomb exploded at a popular restaurant in Pune, Maharashtra. Nine people were killed on the spot. At least 40 other people were injured. Since then, seven of them have died. The latest casualty was a 21-year-old Sudanese student who died on February 24. In all five foreigners lost their lives.
The German Bakery was a favourite with students and with foreign tourists from the Osho Ashram, Pune’s famous spiritual/mystic centre. The Bakery was packed with customers on the evening of the blast. At around 7.30 p.m., a waiter spotted a bag which seemed to have been left behind by someone. He tried to open it, and the powerful bomb went off. It was first thought that a cylinder of cooking gas had exploded. Later, investigations showed that around 7 kilograms of explosives had been used.
The National Security Guard, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have all sent teams to Pune for investigations. An unknown Pakistan-based terror group claimed responsibility for the attack. However, India’s intelligence agencies felt that this was an attempt to draw attention away from the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the main suspect for the attack.
India holds the Pakistan-based militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba responsible for the 2008 attacks, and has been seeking Pakistan’s help to catch the people behind the operation. Two hotels, a railway station, a hospital and a Jewish centre were attacked by gunmen at that time. These men had entered the country illegally by a sea route and taken the city by surprise. In all 170 people died, including nine of the gunmen.
Just one day before the Pune blast, the governments of India and Pakistan had announced that they would have talks. The two countries were going to negotiate for the first time since the Mumbai attacks. Since then, the top diplomats of the two countries have had meetings in New Delhi.