Israel Embassy car targeted in terror attack in New Delhi

Diplomat among four injured, Iran blamed

Israel Embassy car targeted in terror attack in New Delhi

Terror struck the national capital when a car of the Israeli Embassy exploded leaving four people injured, including the wife of Israel defence attache, on Monday.

The Toyota Innova car of Israeli Embassy went up in flames after a member of a terrorist organisation, stuck a “magnetic bomb” to the rear of the car when it stopped at a traffic signal at Aurangzeb Road, just around a kilometre from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence. Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta said a biker was suspected to be behind the terror attack.

Ironically, the attack has come exactly three years after the bomb blast in Pune on February 13. While the Delhi incident involved Israeli nationals, the blast in Pune happened metres away from Chabad House, a Jewish prayer hall.

The Delhi attack 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.

The police commissioner said: “Based on eyewitness accounts, we suspect that a biker in brown jacket on a red colour motorcycle came from behind and when the car stopped at the red light at Aurangzeb Road and Safdarjang crossing, stuck a ‘magnetic bomb’ to the rear of the car and fled.”

The blast took place around 3:16 pm, engulfing car with registration number 109-CD-35 in flames and a very loud explosion was heard. Three other cars adjacent to the attacked vehicle were also damaged.

As the fire brigade doused the flames, the local police cordoned off the whole area. Security and investigation teams from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), bomb disposal squad and the National Investigative Agency rushed to the scene of the blast.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) L N Rao said the explosion was presumably triggered by a type of remote control device used for the first time on Indian soil. The impact was so intense that the rear of the car was completely damaged.

“The chemical used in the explosion is not known and is being examined by the CFSL. However, there was no shrapnel,” Gupta said.

Eyewitness Ravi Singh, who owns a petrol pump near the crossing, said: “I heard a loud noise. I suspected a  blast but when I reached the spot, saw a car up in flames and some others damaged.”

The injured, rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia and Primus Hospitals, were identified as Tal Yehoshua, 42, wife of Israel defence attache, her driver Manoj Sharma, 42 and two people travelling in a nearby car—Manjeet Singh, 78 and Arun Sharma, 60.
“Tal Yehoshua suffered injuries but her condition is stable, while the others were discharged after being treated for minor injuries,” said Gupta. Police also said Tal Yehoshua was apparently the target of the terror attack.

Assistant Medical Superintendent of Primus Hospital Dr Deep Makkar said: “Her spine is injured and liver has some lacerations.” The defence attache’s wife was on her way to the US Embassy at Chanakyapuri to pick up her two children from school.

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