News18» News»India»Airports and Govt Buildings on Alert After Suspected IED Blast Near Israel Embassy, Delhi Police Files Case
3-MIN READ

Airports and Govt Buildings on Alert After Suspected IED Blast Near Israel Embassy, Delhi Police Files Case

Security personnel inspect the area after a blast outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. (PTI)

Security personnel inspect the area after a blast outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. (PTI)

The Israeli foreign ministry said all its diplomats and embassy staff are "safe and sound". However, an Israeli official on condition of anonymity said the country is treating the blast as a terrorist incident.

A low-intensity explosion took place near the Israel Embassy in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi on Friday evening, but no injuries were reported. The Delhi Police said the blast took place near the pavement in the high-security zone and that the windscreens of three cars nearby were damaged.

Shortly after the blast, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said an alert has been issued at all airports, important installations and government buildings in view of the blast, and that enhanced security measures have been put in place. Security has also been increased at the office of the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai.

The Israeli foreign ministry said all its diplomats and embassy staff are "safe and sound" following the blast. However, an Israeli official on condition of anonymity said the country is treating the blast as a terrorist incident.

RELATED NEWS

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi regarding the explosion and assured him of "fullest protection" to diplomats and the mission. In a tweet, Jaishankar said India has taken the incident "very seriously".

The Delhi Police has registered a case, with its Special Cell investigating the matter. "I just visited the scene of crime. A case has been registered and the matter is being investigated by Special Cell. We cannot say anything more on this right now," said Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava.

After the blast, Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of the situation. He also cancelled his planned visit to West Bengal tomorrow.

Several senior officials of the Intelligence Bureau, including officers of the Delhi Police's Special Cell, Crime Branch, also arrived at the scene to investigate the blast. A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reached later as well.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet expressed concern at the news. "Agencies are determining the nature and cause of the blast. Thankfully, no loss of life reported yet. Any attempt to disturb the peace of Delhi should be firmly dealt with," he said.

The fire department received the call at 5.11 pm as the Beating Retreat ceremony was going on at Rajpath a few kilometres away. The embassy is located on APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED), placed inside a flower pot on the road divider, is suspected to be the cause of the blast. It appears that it was thrown from a moving vehicle, said police sources.

"A very low intensity improvised device went off... No injury to any person was reported and nor was there any damage to property except the glass panes of three vehicles parked nearby," Delhi Police Additional PRO Anil Mittal said. Initial impressions suggest a mischievous attempt to create a sensation, added the police.

"Police are scanning the area where the blast took place to find the reason behind the explosion. No battery or electronic device found yet," said sources.

"Investigators have recovered an envelope from the spot, the text written on it is related to Israel Embassy officials. Investigators are looking into whether it is linked to the incident or not," they added.

"The mirrors of two to three cars are broken. Three fire tenders were rushed to the spot," said an official of the fire department.

first published:January 29, 2021, 18:02 IST
Loading...