No Intelligence Failure in Pune - Chidambaram

Pune, Feb 14 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram denied Sunday that intelligence failure was to blame for the Pune terror attack that killed nine people and called the bakery that was bombed a "soft target".

"This particlar area has been on (the) radar for sometime," he said, about the upscale Koregaon Park area where the devastating blast occurred Saturday evening.

Nine people were killed when a powerful bomb kept in a backpack tore through the German Bakery in the heart of Pune. Nearly 60 people were injured, including four Iranians, two Nepalease and one Sudanese and German each.

Doctors said one man was in critical condition with multiple fractures and 78 percent burns and unlikely to survive. About 10 others were in hospitals but in stable condition.

Chidambaram said the Jewish Chabad House and the popular Osho Ashram near the blast site had been surveyed by Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, now in US custody, during his India visits in 2007-08.

"Police were sensitised that the Chabad House was a target, so was the Osho Ashram. These were the hard targets," he said.

"But apart from hard targets, there are soft targets," Chidambaram told reporters after visiting the blast site and hospitals to meet the injured.

He said the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had taken over the case and set up teams to investigate the bombing.

"All the information available at the moment points to a plot to explode a device in a place that is frequented by foreigners as well as Indians," Chidambaram said.

"We are not ruling out anything, we are not ruling in anything."

The German Bakery, where the bomb exploded, is a favourite food joint for foreigners, located in the upscale Koregaon Park. But on Saturdays, it attracts more Indians.


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Title: No Intelligence Failure in Pune - Chidambaram

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