Four held over Pune bakery bomb blast

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 today, as they raised the death toll to 10.

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 km 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 Islamist group, the Indian Mujahideen, was responsible for the attack.

Two Britons detained

NEW DELHI: Two British nationals have been arrested in the Indian capital for alleged suspicious activity near the international airport, media reports said on Tuesday. The Hindustan Times said Stephen Hampston, in his mid-40s, and 56-year-old Steven Martin were detained on Monday night at the Radisson hotel near New Delhi airport after staff informed intelligence agencies of suspicious behaviour. The NDTV news channel said police found radar-like equipment on the two men, which could be capable of tracing far-off aircraft, as well as a map of the airport.

Citing police sources, the channel said that no links to terrorist activity had been established and the men had told officials the equipment was meant for planespotting.