New details have emerged regarding the minor IED explosion outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Friday, with an Iranian hand being suspected behind the blast which was mentioned as a “trailer” in a letter found from the site, according to reports. CCTV footage too indicates suspicious vehicle movement in the area before the explosion.
Hours after the low intensity explosion in the heart of the capital on Friday, which marked the 29th anniversary of the establishment of India-Israel full diplomatic ties, the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar spoke to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi and assured him of “fullest protection” to his country’s diplomats and the mission.
No one was injured in the explosion and there was no damage to any property, Delhi Police said. According to reports, the explosive was kept between pavement and bushes. A team of Delhi Police Special Cell visited the blast site on Saturday morning for collecting evidence as part of the investigation, officials said.
Meanwhile, an envelope containing a note addressed to embassy officials was found at the blast site, sources said. Though there has been no official word on what its contents were, an India Today report says the letter mentioned Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani and their top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, both of whom were assassinated last year.
Besides, the investigators while scanning footage of CCTV cameras installed nearby spotted a vehicle moving suspiciously near the embassy just before the explosion, sources said. It showed two people alighting from a cab and walking towards the embassy, and efforts are on to identify the cab driver.
On Friday, the Delhi Police said that the low-intensity improvised device went off at 5.05 pm. No injury to any person was reported, nor was there any damage to property except the glass panes of three vehicles parked nearby, a Delhi Police spokesperson said. Some cars were damaged in the blast in the very high-security zone.
Delhi Police Additional PRO Anil Mittal said initial impressions suggest that it could be a mischievous attempt to create a sensation. Delhi Police chief S N Shrivastava said that the force has registered a case and its Special Cell has started investigating the matter.
“We are working with Indian authorities to find the perpetrators and the motive behind this attack. The incident happened on the 29th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries,” said a statement by the Israeli embassy. On Jaishankar’s conversation with Israeli foreign minister, it said Ashkenazi thanked his Indian counterpart and promised full cooperation and any help required from Israel.
The blast took place when President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present a few kilometres away at the Beating Retreat ceremony at the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations. In the wake of the incident, high alert has been sounded in Jaipur and Mumbai.
(With inputs from agencies)