India detains four over Pune bombing

MUMBAI: Four people have been taken into custody in connection with a deadly bomb blast at a restaurant in western India at the weekend, police said Tuesday, as they raised the death toll to 10, reports AFP.

The four were detained as part of the investigation into the attack on the popular German Bakery restaurant in Pune, the city’s police commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters.

The domestic Press Trust of India news agency said one of the suspects was picked up in Pune, while the other was arrested in the neighbouring industrial township of Pimpri.

Television news channels said the two others were detained in Aurangabad, about 200 kilometres from Pune.

Singh added that a student who was among the 57 people wounded in the explosion on Saturday became the 10th fatality after he died of his injuries in a local hospital.

Forensic scientists have determined that the bomb, left in an abandoned rucksack, was made from a mixture of RDX high explosives, ammonium nitrate and petrol, the officer said, without specifying quantities.

The bombing was the first major strike on Indian soil since the assault on Mumbai in November 2008 and came just a day after India and Pakistan agreed to resume dialogue with a meeting between their foreign secretaries.

The government has so far refused to confirm media speculation that an India-based extremist group, the Indian Mujahideen, was responsible for the attack.

The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in New Delhi in September 2008.

Media reports have highlighted similarities between them and the Pune blast.

India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attack on Mumbai, which left 166 people dead and more than 300 wounded, leading to the suspension of peace talks between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Government sources in New Delhi on Monday told AFP that the foreign secretary level talks, scheduled for February 25, would still go ahead amid calls from the main opposition party for them to be scrapped.

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