Well trained terrorist carried the attack, says Chidambaram

Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Tuesday that the lone motorcyclist who tried to assassinate an Israeli diplomat's wife here was "a very well trained person".

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

"It is very clear that a very well trained person has committed this attack," Chidambaram said, referring to Monday's bomb attack in the heart of the city that badly injured the wife of the defence attache.

"There is also reason to believe that the target was the Israeli diplomat's wife. Therefore, one has to proceed on the basis that it was a terrorist attack," the minister told reporters.

The victim, Tal Yehoshua Koren, was still in hospital but in stable condition, he added.

"The condition of the lady is stable. She has suffered splinter injuries and some other injuries. She is out of danger."

Three other Indians, including her driver, were also injured in the attack. They were discharged after medical attention was given to them.

Giving the first official sequence of the audacious attack for which Israel has blamed Iran, Chidambaram said the motorcycle rider came from behind Koren's car when it halted at a traffic junction on Safdarjung Road, not far from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.

"The person attached a device to the rear door of the car, on the right hand side, crossed the diving verge, swung past the car (and sped away)," he said.

He quoted an eyewitness as telling police that a powerful explosion, heard in a range of one kilometre, happened "within seconds".

"We believe," he said, "the explosion happened within four to five seconds of the device being attached (to the car)."

The minister said investigations were on and CCTV cameras were being screened. But there was "no clear image of the motorcycle rider or the number plate".

"We condemn this incident. At the moment I am not pointing any finger at any particular group or organisation. Whoever did it, we condemn it in the strongest terms.

"We have friendly relations with Israel, just as we have very friendly relations with other countries," he said, adding that attacking any member of the diplomatic community on Indian soil was unacceptable.

He said India had assured Israel that "the investigation will proceed until we find the perpetrator of the attack".

Chidambaram said Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon had spoken to the Israeli ambassador, Alon Ushpiz.

The attack here Monday happened on the same day when an attempted attack on the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi was filed when an employee discovered a car fitted with an explosive device near the diplomatic mission.

Speaking in Jerusalem, Netanyahu blamed recent attempts on Israeli officials abroad on "Iran and its client Hezbollah". He called Iran "the world's greatest exporter of terror".

Iran has denied any involvement in the terror attack Monday.

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