Indian Chabad House targeted in February attack

By Jessica Elgot, March 24, 2010
The German bakerywhich was destroyed in the bomb attack in Pune.

The German bakerywhich was destroyed in the bomb attack in Pune.

Indian security officials have confirmed that the Chabad House in Pune was the real target of a bomb attack which killed seventeen people at a nearby bakery.

Rabbi Betzalel Kupchik, of the Chabad House, said he recognised the sound of the blast as like a “Katyusha rocket sent from Hamas.”

Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, said that the attack which ripped through a popular German bakery in the north west of the city was intended for the Chabad House, a few metres away.

Seventeen people, eating in the packed restaurant, were killed and over fifty were injured in the blast.

Mr Chavan said that central intelligence agencies in India, working with the Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad, had clearly indicated that the Chabad House had been the target.

He said: “The target of the attackers was the Chabad House which is near the German Bakery.

“There was adequate security near the Chabad House. Since the attackers could not break the security, they targeted the German bakery.”

He added: “We have increased our police force and also purchased sophisticated weapons to deal with such attacks. We are taking all the necessary security measures based on the intelligence inputs.”

The Pune police have recommended that the Chabad House also takes its own steps to up security, at a cost of around $20,000. Security has also been stepped outside the Ohel David Synagogue in the city.

Last updated: 2:23pm, March 25 2010