Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Unknown Pakistan group claims India's Pune bombing

Scene of blast
The restaurant targeted was packed with diners at the time of the blast

A previously unknown Pakistan-based group has said it carried out Saturday's deadly bombing in India's western Pune city.

A man claiming to be a spokesman for Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi rang India's The Hindu newspaper in Islamabad and said it was behind the attack.

It was in response to India's "refusal" to discuss the disputed Kashmir region, the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Eleven people died in the blast at a restaurant popular with tourists.

The bombing was the first major strike of its kind in India since the deadly Mumbai attacks in November 2008.

'Splinter group'

The Hindu said the caller had identified himself by using the codename Abu Jindal.

"He said he was calling from Miranshah in North Waziristan and the telephone number used to make the call carried an area code common to the Waziristan tribal area and Bannu, the adjoining district in the North West Frontier Province," the paper said.

The caller said Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi had split from the larger Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba because the latter "took its orders from Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI", The Hindu said.

India has blamed the 2008 Mumbai attacks on Lashkar-e-Taiba, which denies involvement.

The Pune blast came a day after India and Pakistan agreed to meet for talks in Delhi - their first formal negotiations since the Mumbai attacks.

The explosion tore through the German Bakery restaurant, on North Main Road, on Saturday evening when it was packed with diners.

Reports said an unattended package exploded when a waiter in the restaurant attempted to open it.

The German Bakery is near the Osho Ashram, a mystic centre popular with visitors to Pune.

The Chabad centre, run by the Jewish Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement, whose members were targeted in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, is also in the area.

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