NEW DELHI: A small bomb exploded outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Friday as it marked the anniversary of setting up diplomatic relations with India. No injuries were reported but an Israeli official told AFP the incident was being treated as terrorism.
The windows on three nearby cars were blown out by what police called “a very low intensity improvised device”. “Initial impressions suggest a mischievous attempt to create a sensation,” a police statement added. However an Israeli official in Jerusalem, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: “We consider this as a terror attack.”
With the Indian capital already on heightened alert because of farmers’ protests, the district around the embassy was sealed off and flooded with police, paramilitaries, bomb disposal experts and anti-terrorism specialists. The embassy is on a tree-lined avenue opposite a French cultural institute with other embassies and international schools nearby. All stepped up security.
‘Flower pot’ bomb
According to media reports, the device, which went off at about 5.05pm (1135 GMT), could have been left in a flower pot or a bottle on the pavement close to the embassy. India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said he had spoken to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi about the bomb. “We take this very seriously,” Jaishankar said on Twitter, adding that he had promised “the fullest protection for the embassy and Israeli diplomats.”
The “matter is under investigation and no effort will be spared to find the culprits.” Ashkenazi said Jaishankar had promised that India “will continue to act resolutely to locate all those involved in the explosion.” Top security officials from the two countries also discussed the bomb. The Israeli foreign ministry confirmed there were no casualties and no damage to the embassy. Ashkenazi had asked for “all necessary security measures” to be taken, said a statement. – AFP