Israeli embassy car bomb in India made by ‘foreign experts’

The bomb that gutted an Israeli embassy car in India on Monday was the first of its kind in the country, according to officials investigating the case. (Reuters)

Officials investigating the bomb that shattered an Israeli embassy car in India on Monday have found that the explosive was the first of its kind in the country and could have been made by “foreign experts,” a senior police official said.

The car bomb was part of a double attack targeting Israel’s embassies in India and Georgia, which left four people injured, including a diplomat, in the Indian capital, according to reports by the Indian channel IBN Live.

“The bomb was perfectly made and we have never seen such a bomb in Delhi. Maybe, it was made by foreign experts,” the official told the Times of India.

The vehicle was a short distance from the Israeli embassy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence.

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters on Tuesday that the bombing appeared to be a terror strike carried out by a well-trained attacker, according to the Associated Press. He declined to assign responsibility to any country or organization for the attack.

Israeli missions worldwide are on alert and coordinating with Indian security forces, IBN Live reported, as a forensic lab report detailing the exact nature of the explosives used in the blasts is expected within the next 24 to 48 hours.

“A sophisticated incendiary device was used in the blast, a first in its kind for a terror attack in India. This has been giving officials cause for concern,” the news channel reported.

Sources say the Home Ministry is expecting a detailed report from Delhi Police on its preliminary investigations by Tuesday evening.

The United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon condemned on Monday the bombing attacks and called on authorities there to investigate the incidents.

“The Secretary-General recalls his condemnation of attacks against diplomatic personnel and premises wherever they take place,” he said in a statement.

“He calls on the host authorities to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Iran has been accused of staging the attacks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who alleged that Hezbollah was behind the car bombings against Israeli diplomats in both India as well as Georgia.

In response to the allegations, Iran then accused Israel of being responsible for the attacks. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “Israel launched attacks against its own embassies in New Delhi and Tbilisi in order to tarnish Iran’s friendly ties with the host countries. Israel perpetrated the terror actions to launch psychological warfare against Iran.”

The attacks took place a day after the fourth death anniversary of slain Hezbollah deputy leader Imad Mughniyah.

According to Haaretz newspaper, last year, Israeli embassies throughout the world received several suspected threats which coincided with the third anniversary of Mughniyah’s death.

Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Damascus on Feb.12, 2008, while Abbas Mussawi, the group’s secretary general, was killed by an Israeli missile on Feb. 16, 1992.

Both attacks were blamed on Israel and sparked vows of revenge from the Shiite militia group.

A Jewish center run by the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch movement was among the targets in the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which India blames on the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, in which 10 gunmen killed at least 188 people.

The last strike in New Delhi was in September 2011 when a bomb outside the High Court killed 14 people - the latest in a series of blasts that has shaken public confidence in the Indian government’s counter-terror capabilities.

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