Small explosion outside Israeli embassy in New Delhi

Police say the small blast was caused by a ‘very low-intensity improvised device’ and resulted in no injuries.

The incident took place close to where India’s President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were participating in an army parade [Sajjad Hussain/AFP]
The incident took place close to where India’s President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were participating in an army parade [Sajjad Hussain/AFP]

A “very low intensity” device has exploded near the Israeli embassy in the Indian capital, but there were no injuries and little damage, police said on Friday.

New Delhi police said the only damage was to the windows of three cars parked nearby, which were shattered by the blast.

A preliminary investigation “suggests a mischievous attempt to create a sensation”, police said in a statement.

The district around the embassy was sealed off after the explosion and police and bomb disposal experts took over the scene.

India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar said he had spoken to his counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi about the blast.

“We take this very seriously,” he said on Twitter. “Assured him of the fullest protection for the Embassy and Israeli diplomats. Matter is under investigation and no effort will be spared to find the culprits.”

Commenting on the incident, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “the incident is under investigation by the authorities in India, who are in contact with the relevant Israeli authorities”.

An unnamed Israeli official was cited by the Reuters news agency as saying Israel was treating the explosion as a “terrorist” incident.

The blast occurred shortly after 17:00 IST (11:30 GMT), while India’s President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were participating in a military ceremony a kilometre away from the site.

The Indian capital is also on a security alert because of farmers’ protests against government agriculture reforms that deteriorated into serious unrest this week.

Thousands of Indian farmers had marched overnight to reinforce protesting colleagues camping out on the outskirts of the capital, to press the government to withdraw three new farm laws they say will hurt their livelihoods.

In 2012, a blast near the embassy in New Delhi injured an Israeli diplomat’s wife, her driver and two others. It coincided with an attack on another Israeli diplomat in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Source : News Agencies

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