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Israeli car blast: Police quiz 2 men who helped Iranian

March 27, 2012 18:33 IST
Probing the activities of Iranian national Houshand Afshar Irani charged with bombing an Israeli diplomat's car on February 13, the Delhi police have traced two people, who had allegedly helped him in procurring female escorts, and interrogated them.

The two people -- one from central Delhi and the other from northwest Delhi -- were called by sleuths of the special unit of the Delhi police and questioned them at length.

The two were released after questioning and officials associated with the probe said the exercise was to know more about the activities of Irani against whom India has secured an Interpol Red Corner notice.

The police are looking for a pimp and two to three call girls who were allegedly engaged by Irani during his two visits to the national capital this year and in 2011. One of the persons quizzed by the Delhi police said 39-year-old Irani had met him near Connaught Place in central Delhi after the alleged bomber had obtained his telephone number from the classified section of a newspaper which claimed to provide "female escorts", they said. After that, during his fortnight-long stay each time in 2011 and this year February, Irani had engaged two to three female escorts, a lead in the probe which had been provided by the hotel staff in central Delhi. This was further corroborated by the telephone number used by the alleged bomber.

Besides Irani, the Delhi police secured Interpol's warrant of arrest against 50-year-old Seyed Ali Mahdiansar, 47-year-old Mohammareza Abol Ghashemi (both alleged conspirators) and 31-year-old Masoud Sedaghatzadeh (alleged mastermind and at present in custody in Malaysia).

The sources said the statement of the "female escorts" would help in understanding the Iranian bomber more and may help in getting additional details about the people he had visited and the places he had gone. The other bombers arrested in Bangkok had also engaged the services of female escorts and the probe reports shared by Bangkok included pictures of Sedaghatzadeh and two other bombers -- Saeid Moradi and Mohammad Kharzei (both part of the botched-up plan in Bangkok) with some women escorts in the popular tourist resort of Pattaya.

The photo taken by one of the women from her mobile phone purportedly showed the three Iranians at a Middle Eastern bar surrounded by hookah water-pipes and seen enjoying the company of the females. The Bangkok police had also recorded the statement of one of the women escorts, shared with the police, in which it was alleged that Kharzei had asked her to escort him as he was not good in conversing in English language. The Delhi police have already arrested Seyed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, a journalist working for Iranian publications, for his alleged role in providing logistics in carrying out the car bombing of Israeli diplomat Tal Yeshua.

According to the sources privy to the probe conducted in India, Malaysia and Thailand and also on the basis of the statement of Kazmi to the Delhi police, the spate of attacks planned in New Delhi, Bangkok and Georgia was to take revenge on attacks on Iranian scientists since 2009. Four Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in attacks since 2009.

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