Investigating agencies are on the lookout for unidentified suspect who attached an explosive device to an Israeli diplomat's car in high-security zone; explosion injured 4
Panic and chaos rang out at Auranzeb Road in New Delhi yesterday after a car belonging to the Israeli embassy was gutted after an explosion.
Terror strikes again: The blast took place late last afternoon, close to
the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, some 150 m from PM Manmohan Singh's
official residence. Officials have blamed terrorists for the strike but are
yet to identify any specific module. Pics/Rajeev Tyagi
The blast occurred in a high-security zone -- around 150 metres away from the official residence of PM Manmohan Singh.
A motorcyclist is suspected to be behind the blast that injured four people -- three Indians and an Israeli national, who works at the embassy.
Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta said, "The Israeli embassy employee identified at Til Yeshoshua was going to get her children home from school. According to eyewitnesses, a motorcyclist attached something to the car and sped away fast, minutes before the actual explosion."
The explosion was loud and left the car badly charred. An Indica close to car was also damaged and two of the injured were from the Indica.
The police chief added that the injured were quickly rushed to a nearby hospital.
All of them have inflicted shrapnel injuries. However, the Israeli national is critical and admitted to a private hospital nearby.
Piecing it together: Security and forensic officials examine the blast
site. An eyewitness said he had seen the target car being followed by a
young man on a bike, who attached a device to it before it went up in
Sticker bomb used?
Though the Delhi police commissioner said there was only one person riding the bike, initial reports had stated that there were two people on the bike and one of them was wearing a brown jacket.
Investigators from various agencies including the National Investigation Agency, the Delhi police and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory are trying to put together the pieces of information they have gathered so far. They are collecting vital clues from the blast site to ascertain the perpetrators of the act.
"Preliminary investigations revealed that the explosive was not thrown from a distance but in fact was attached to the vehicle with the help of a magnet or some kind of adhesive," said an official from the Delhi police.
Blast from the past
Sources said that the attack was similar to the one carried out in Tehran on January 11 this year, in which Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed.
The scientist had died in an explosion after an unknown assailant on a motorcycle slapped on a magnetic bomb to his car when he was on his way to work.
Meanwhile, the Indian government ordered for additional security in the capital, and Israeli embassies around the world have increased security to avoid any further attacks.
Bombers target Israeli envoy in Georgia
Assailants also targeted Israeli diplomats in Georgia. However, the car bombing was thwarted. Georgian authorities said an explosive device was planted on the car of a driver for the Israeli Embassy. Shota Utiashvili, spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said the driver noticed a package attached to his car and called the police. Police found a grenade in the package and it was defused.
Israel blames Iran for embassy attacks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the simultaneous attacks on Israeli embassy staff in Georgia and India. "Iran is behind these attacks. It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world," said Netanyahu. "In all the recent attacks, those responsible were Iran and its protege Hezbollah," he said. Israel would continue to act "with a firm hand" to stamp out "international terror coming from Iran," he added.
Iran denies any link
Iran's ambassador to India has rejected claims that Tehran was behind the attacks.