New Delhi: A car belonging to the Israeli embassy was gutted after it suddenly exploded in the VVIP area of Delhi on Monday. A female diplomat is among the four injured.
The Innova SUV car, bearing diplomatic number 109 CD 35, went up in flames after it exploded near a petrol pump, metres away from 7 Race Course Road – PM’s residence. Another car in the vicinity was also damaged.
The injured from the embassy was identified as Tal Yehoshua, wife of Israeli Defence Attache in the
Embassy. She is among the four injured in today’s blast.
The blast occurred at 3.16 pm at a busy traffic intersection on Aurangazeb Road after an unidentified motorcyclist stuck a magnetic device to the rear of the Toyota Innova vehicle.
The first major targeting of an Israeli official in the Capital came hours after police defused a bomb targeting an Israeli embassy car in Tbilisi, capital of a former Soviet republic, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of Hezbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh.
Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta said that a device was used to target the Toyota Innova vehicle.
He said, “According to an eye witness a motorcycle-born person attached something to the rear of the SUV belonging to the embassy. There was a mild explosion after which the car burst into flames. The case will be investigated by special cell of the Delhi Police.”
"A remote control may have been used to trigger off the device," he added.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Home Affairs while confirming the bomb attack said, “At 3.20 pm today the Israeli embassy SUV was targeted.” “Initial reports suggest that a foreign substance was attached to the rear of the vehicle,” the Union Home Secretary added.
While condemning attack in Delhi today, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, “Have spoken to the Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and have assured them that the law of the land will take its due course,” he said. “India very strongly condemns such incidents. The culprits will be brought to justice at the earliest. We will keep the embassy posted of the all developments,” he added.
Nonetheless, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu straightaway blamed Iran and its Lebanese protege Hezbollah. Netanyahu also said Israel had thwarted similar attacks in recent months in Azerbaijan and Thailand.
Addressing lawmakers of his Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu said, "In all those cases, the elements behind these attacks were Iran and its protégé Hezbollah." He warned that such incidents would not be tolerated and that Israel would get back at the perpetrators of the crime.
Speaking to a TV channel, Alon Ushpiz, Israeli Ambassador to India too spoke in the same language, “We are all aware of the statements coming from the Israeli PM. This is not a co-incidence. Iran is going after the Israeli people on daily basis.” Nonetheless he assured that they felt ‘very secure’ in India and that they had ‘full confidence’ in the Indian authorities.
Security near the Israeli embassy and its consulate in Mumbai and missions of Western countries was tightened following the car bomb attack.
The blast created a flutter among security agencies including elite SPG guarding the Prime Minister. A high alert was immediately sounded and the entire area has been cordoned off.
The Centre has ordered tightening of security of diplomatic missions, especially of Israel, US and other Western countries, across the country.
With PTI inputs