20:42 GMT28 February 2021
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    A small bomb detonated just outside the building of the Israeli diplomatic mission in India on Friday, blowing the windows out of nearby cars but leading to no victims or injuries. Both Indian and Israeli officials have described the attempted attack as related to terrorism.

    Israeli intelligence agency Mossad is taking part in a probe reviewing the low-intensity bomb explosion which occurred on Friday evening in New Delhi, just outside the Israeli Embassy, according to a Saturday report by Kan News. The spy agency is said to be probing the possible involvement of other nationals in the attack, which Israeli officials describe as likely to be terrorists.

    Reports from Israeli media have been suggesting that Iran could have been behind the explosion that took no lives and caused no injuries, but has damaged the vehicles parked outside. The blast occurred as India and Israel were celebrating the 29-year anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic ties.

    Security officials examine the site of an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India, January 29, 2021.
    © REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUI
    Security officials examine the site of an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India, January 29, 2021.

    According to Israel’s envoy to India Ron Malka, the failed explosion had come as unsurprising, as the Embassy has been receiving “threats” and was preparing for possible attacks.

    “This could have ended differently in other circumstances, so we were fortunate,” the ambassador told AFP in a phone interview. “We are always prepared. Especially these last days, we raised the level of alert due to some threats.”

    When asked whether he can point to an Iranian trace in the incident, as Tehran was previously blamed for a 2012 bomb attack on an Israeli diplomatic car in India's capital, Malka stopped short from directly putting blame on the Islamic Republic:

    “Those non-state actors that are striving for destablisation in the region and the world don’t like what is happening between Israel and India, that are striving for stability and peace. It might be a threat for them,” the Israeli’s ambassador told the media.

    India remains one of the biggest clients of the Israeli defence sector, stocking up on its weapons on a mass scale.

    Iran strongly denied its involvement in the Friday attack, maintaining that neither the country nor its allies target diplomatic missions.

    Iran-Linked Blast or Just an Internal Issue?

    According to India Today TV, a number of Iranian nationals have been questioned in relation to the blast, while Times of India and Indian Express revealed that a written note, reportedly addressed to the Israeli ambassador, was recovered from the site. The letter in question is said to have mentioned “Iranian martyrs” – nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh who was killed in Iran in November in a shooting and bombing attack that was blamed by Tehran on Tel Aviv, and Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, assassinated by US drone strike last January.

    The note reportedly described the explosion as just “a trailer”, while adding a threat: “we can end your life, anytime, anywhere.”

    The attack was dubbed as a “very primitive” by Israeli’s Channel 13 which did not believe that the incident should be linked to the functioning of any “sophisticated terror cell”.

    Meanwhile, a little-known terrorist group Jaish-Ul-Hind is said to have claimed responsibility for the attack through Telegram app, reportedly claiming that it was just “the beginning of a series of attacks which would target major Indian cities and pay back in kind to the atrocities committed by the Indian state.”

    The purported message does not apparently make any mentions of Israel and suggests that the blast, which had also happened in the last day of festivities devoted to India’s Republic Day, was rather directed against the Indian government.

    The claim is yet to be verified by Indian security agencies which are also treating the incident as “attempted terrorist attack.”

    Tags:
    Mossad, Qasem Soleimani, blast, explosion, New Delhi, Iran, India, Israel
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