Explosion near Israel embassy in Delhi; Tel Aviv treating it as ‘terrorism’

Minor explosion reported near Israel embassy in Delhi

A small blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Friday evening was caused by a “very low intensity improvised device”, police said, adding there were no injuries.

Israel, according to Reuters, is treating this small blast as a terrorist incident.

The Israeli foreign ministry also assured all its diplomats and embassy staff were “safe and sound”.

“An explosion occurred a short while ago, close to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. There are no casualties and no harm was done to the building. All Israeli diplomats and embassy staff are safe and sound,” a foreign ministry release said.

“The event is being investigated by the Indian authorities who are in contact with Israeli officials,” it said, adding that the foreign minister is frequently being updated on the situation and has directed to take all necessary precautions.

“We will report further developments as they occur,” the release said.

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has assured his Israeli counterpart of fullest protection for the diplomats and mission.

“The matter is under investigation. No effort will be spared to find the culprits,” he said.

The low intensity explosion occurred while the Beating Retreat ceremony was underway at Rajpath just about 2 kilometres away. The district around the embassy was sealed off after the explosion and police and bomb disposal experts took over the scene.

A police statement described it as a “very low intensity improvised device” that blew out the windows on three nearby cars. “Initial impressions suggest a mischievous attempt to create a sensation,” the statement added.

Delhi Police said that the explosion took place at a pavement, and caused damage to the windscreen of four to five cars.

Fire brigade, SWAT and forensic teams rushed to the spot soon after the incident that took place at around 5 pm.

“Multiple police teams have been rushed to the spot. It is yet to be ascertained the kind of material that exploded,” a senior police officer told IANS.

As per fire department information, they received the call at 5.11 pm. “The mirrors of two to three cars are broken. Three fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” another official told PTI.

The embassy is on APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

An alert has been issued at all airports, important installations and government buildings in view of blast. Enhanced security measures have been put in place.

According to sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has also been briefed by director, IB  and CP, Delhi.

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

(with inputs from agencies)

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