Eight Dead in Suspected Bomb Attack Near India Jewish Center

Four foreign women among the dead at a Pune restaurant, their nationality has not yet been made known.

A suspected bomb ripped through a restaurant popular with foreign tourists not far from a local Chabad center in the western Indian city of Pune on Saturday, killing at least eight people in the country's first major attack since the Mumbai massacre of 2008.

Four foreign women were among the dead at the city's German Bakery restaurant but their nationality was not known, said Dilip Band, a senior police official. "The explosive was in a bag kept in the bakery," he told CNN-IBN television.

The Foreign Ministry said it was investigating if any Israelis were wounded in the blast.

The explosion occurred late in the evening when the restaurant was packed with tourists and foreigners.

Debris was strewn all around the building located near a Chabad Jewish centre and Osho ashram, which is also frequented by foreigners. The impact knocked the bakery's sign off and blew out windows.

Top officials from India and Pakistan are due to meet in New Delhi on Feb. 25. New Delhi suspended a four-year-old peace process with Islamabad after the Mumbai attacks, which were blamed on Pakistani-based militants.

The militants killed 166 people during a three-day rampage through the financial hub of Mumbai in November 2008, which raised tensions between nuclear rivals Pakistan and India.

Nine people - most Israelis, some dual citizens but all of them Jews - were killed in the attack on the Chabad house in Mumbai.

"There are eight dead and 33 injured in the blast at the German Bakery," Rajendra Sonawane, a joint commissioner of police, told reporters before it was confirmed that the blast was caused by a bomb.

"We heard a big noise and we all rushed out. The impact was so much that there were tiny body parts everywhere," said Vinod Dhale, an employee at the bakery.

Before Mumbai, a wave of bombs hit Indian cities in 2008, killing more than 100 people. Police blamed most of those attacks on home-grown Muslim militants, although some Hindu militants have also been suspected of carrying out several attacks.