NEW DELHI: Friday’s low-intensity blast outside New Delhi’s Israel embassy has stirred up questions of a larger terror angle. The incident has put focus on a similar incident from 2002, when an Israeli embassy vehicle was targeted in Delhi, and the probe pointed to a possibility of involvement of Iranian agencies.
Here’s a quick look at the developments since Friday’s blast in the high-security zone of the capital.
Delhi Police’s Special Cell team visits blast site
An investigation team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Saturday visited the blast site to collect more evidence as part of its ongoing probe.
Forensic experts have collected samples from the crime scene that will ascertain the chemical composition used in the low-intensity improvised explosive device (IED).
Ball bearings seized from the spot were found scattered on the ground and the impact of the explosion was felt within a radius of 20-25 metres.
Delhi: A low-intensity explosion occurred near Israel Embassy yesterday. Samples collected from the spot by a crime… https://t.co/NaexEj6l1n
— ANI (@ANI) 1611982278000
Suspicious envelope found outside embassy
Investigators have recovered an envelope with text written on it related to Israel Embassy officials from the blast site, according to sources.
Delhi police sources revealed that in the letter, yesterday’s explosion has been referred to as a ‘trailer’.
The killing of two Iranians has also been mentioned in the letter. The names mentioned as ‘martyrs’ in the letter are- Qasem Soleimani (Iranian military officer who served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was killed in a US airstrike in January 2020) and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated in November 2020).
“This is a trailer. We can end your life, anytime, anywhere. Iranian martyr..” the letter reads.
Two persons spotted in CCTV footage
A CCTV footage of the blast site has revealed that a cab had dropped two persons near the embassy and it is yet to be ascertained whether these persons have any role in the explosion, according to Delhi Police sources.
The Delhi Police Special Cell has contacted the concerned cab driver and enquired about the two persons. Police are drawing out the pictures of the two persons on the basis of inputs gathered from the cab driver.
Blast may be connected to 2012 attack on diplomats: Envoy Ron Malka
Israeli ambassador to Delhi Ron Malka on Saturday said that there might be a connection between Friday’s blast near the Israeli Embassy and the 2012 attack targeting the country’s diplomats in Delhi.
“As of now, our strong assumption is that it is a terror attack that targeted the Israeli Embassy. Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” the envoy said.
Delhi police seeks details of Iranians from FRRO
Delhi police has asked for details of all Iranians, including Iranians settled overseas, who have come to the national capital through the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
Last one month’s details in this regard have been sought from the FRRO. So far details of those who stayed in hotels are being gathered.
Jaishankar assures ‘fullest protection’ to Israeli diplomats
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has assured the Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi of “fullest protection” to their diplomats.
“EAM (S Jaishnakar) called our Minister of Foreign Affairs (Gabi Ashkenazi) and Foreign Secretory Harsh Vardhan Shringla called our DG in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. NSA Ajit Doval called our NSA Meir Ben-Shabbat. There is full collaboration. They gave their assurances and offered all support, protection or assistance that we need,” the Israeli envoy to New Delhi said.
(With agency inputs)