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Three injured in Pune blast

Three injured in Pune blast

Pune: Three people, including a police constable and a woman, were injured when an explosive device fixed to a motorcycle at a parking lot here blew up Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Witnesses said a loud explosion rocked the area followed by some smoke emanating from opposite the Farazkhana police station located in the busy Budhwarpeth area.

A preliminary probe showed that the explosive was placed in the luggage carrier of a stolen motorbike.

The motorbike, said to be owned by a policeman from Satara, was reported stolen from Pimprigaon a few days ago and taken to Pune, the police probe revealed.

Iron nails and ball bearings were later recovered from the blast site and sent for forensic analysis to determine the type of explosive used.

Police Commissioner Satish Mathur only said investigations would reveal more details.

Asked whether it could be a terror blast, Mathur told the media: "We are examining all possibilities from different angles."

At least two other motorcycles parked nearby were damaged.

Witnesses said the area remains busy throughout the day, with the police station situated barely 50 metres away and the famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Temple around 100 metres away.

Home Minister R.R. Patil said there was no need to panic and people should not listen to rumours. He appealed to all to cooperate with the authorities.

This was the third blast in four years that rocked Pune and shattered its reputation as a peaceful city.

On Valentine's Day in 2010, a massive explosion ripped the German Bakery restaurant in Koregaon area, killing 17 people, including many foreigners.

Two years later, Aug 1, 2012, a series of four low-intensity serial blasts took place on the Junglee Maharaj Road. The explosives, placed on innocuous bicycles, injured one person.

The Indian Mujahiddeen terror outfit was blamed for both the blasts, but nobody claimed credit for Thursday's explosion.

An Anti Terrorism Squad from Mumbai has joined its Pune counterparts to probe the blast.

Earlier, bomb disposal teams and a dog squad were also deployed.

The central government termed the explosion "minor" and refused to term it a terror attack.

After a briefing by Maharashtra Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said it was a minor blast.

"Why do you think it could be a terror act?" he asked media persons in New Delhi.

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