Maharashtra's ATS identifies key instigator behind Pune blast

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Pune, Apr 8 (ANI): Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) has claimed to have made significant progress in its investigation into the blasts that ripped Pune's German Bakery on February 13, and has reportedly identified the main suspect in the case.

Sources said Yasin Bhatkal, considered to be a close aide of Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riaz Bhatkal, has been identified as one of the main instigators.

It has been reported that the report submitted by the ATS squad to the Union Home Ministry also hinted at the role of Indian Mujahideen in the blast.

Around 17 people were killed and over 355 injured in the Pune blast, which is seen as the first big attack on the country after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The Pune Police had earlier received two letters that they claimed to be from the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Mujahideen Islamic Muslim Front.

The police department said the letters must have been sent by some miscreants to disrupt the blast probe, but that would not deter investigative agencies from continuing with the probe.

The explosion came a day after India and Pakistan agreed to meet for high-level talks in New Delhi on February 25. New Delhi had suspended a four-year-old peace process with Islamabad after the Mumbai attacks, blamed on Pakistani-based militants.

The German Bakery, close to the Osho Ashram and diagonally across from the Jewish Chabad House, was one of the sites surveyed by 26/11-terror suspect David Coleman Headley. (ANI)

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