x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Pune city centre rocked by blasts

At least four small explosions ripple through a busy shopping area in the Indian city of Pune.

NEW DELHI // A series of at least four small explosions rippled through a busy shopping area in the city of Pune yesterday. One person suffered light injuries.

The blasts, some of which happened near a McDonald's restaurant and a theatre, were of low intensity and went off within a one-kilometre radius. A fifth explosive device was defused.

"There have been four blasts and one person has been injured," said Satyapal Singh, a police officer.

"The fourth blast took place in a dustbin of McDonald's."

A team from the national investigation agency was being sent to the city to investigate the explosions, the home ministry said.

Television images showed police picking through rubbish strewn from a knocked-over bin and busy traffic on the street, where people were celebrating a festival.

The injured person was a cyclist, police said.

India's new Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, had been due to visit the city, in his home state of Maharashtra, yesterday hours after taking office.

He had cancelled the trip because of other commitments, the junior home minister Jitendra Singh said.

In 2010, eight people died in a bomb attack on a restaurant in the university city near Mumbai, where coordinated attacks killed 166 people in 2008.

* Reuters and Bloomberg News