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Car explodes near PM's residence

Last updated on: February 13, 2012 21:17 IST

Car explodes near PM's residence



Two people were injured when a car belonging to the Israeli embassy exploded in Delhi on Monday evening.

The blast took place at a petrol pump, near Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence at 7, Race Course Road

The bomb disposal squad has rushed to the spot. The car has been badly charred. Police are looking into whether it was a bomb blast.

Some reports suggested that two motorcyclists were spotted throwing something at the vehicle's window.

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A woman diplomat and the vehicle's driver were reportedly injured in the blast.

Incidentally, the incident comes a day after the fourth death anniversary of Imad Mughniyah, the deputy leader of Hezbollah who was killed in a car blast in 2008.

Hezbollah had accused Israel of being responsible for the blast, but the Jewish nation had denied any involvement.

Meanwhile, Israeli diplomats and foreign officials have been ordered to stop using their own vehicles and be extra vigilant after the second bombing attack.

Hezbollah had accused Israel of being responsible for the blast, but the Jewish nation had denied any involvement. Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said two Israeli embassy employees were injured in the incident.

"We have rushed the bomb disposal squad to the spot. We are investigating the cause of the fire," he said.

Police have cordoned off the area and declared a terror alert.

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Ravir Singh, owner of a nearby petrol pump, said he heard a loud noise, following which he rushed to the spot.

"I was at my petrol pump. I heard a loud noise. I rushed to the spot and found a car in blaze. A fire tender from the nearby Air Force station was at the spot dousing the flame," Singh said.

Police said four cars were damaged in the incident.

There were conflicting versions of the incident with initial reports suggesting that the CNG cylinder kept at the back of the embassy's vehicle burst soon after it was re-filled at a nearby petrol station.

Fire brigade officials said the car caught fire and some reports also said there was a collision with another car. According to eyewitnesses, the car had filled CNG at a petrol station and was on its way to the embassy when the blast took place.

The injured Israeli embassy attache was identified as Ms Tal. She suffered splinter injuries and was admitted to a private hospital today.

Doctors at the Primus Hospital treating 42-year-old Ms Tal said she has been put in the ICU but did not give any details about her condition.

"An Israeli diplomat was injured in a car explosion this afternoon," said Israeli embassy spokesperson David Goldfarb. He said, "We are in close touch with the local authorities to assess the situation".

Asked if there was a connection between today's explosion and the Georgia incident, the spokesperson said, "We don't have any information so far. We don't know."

Medical Superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Dr T S Sidhu said, "Three people with splinter injuries have been brought here. They will be discharged soon". They were identified as Manoj Sharma, Arun Sharma and Manjeet Singh.

A post blast team of the National Security Guard was called in from Manesar to probe the incident.

Alert in Mumbai after blast

Meanwhile, an alert was sounded and security beefed up in Mumbai following the blast, the police said. "Security has been beefed up across the city, particularly in and around the institutions belonging to Israelis," said Mumbai police spokesman and Deputy Commissioner Nisar Tamboli.

Armed Quick Response Teams of Mumbai police were deployed at the Consulate General of Israel at Nariman Point, besides areas having Israeli population and their religious places, Tamboli said.

Security at vital installations and government offices has been tightened and policemen asked to be extra vigilant, Tamboli said. The QRTs were also deployed at bus stands, railway stations, airport, ports, hotels, shopping malls and places of worship.

Condemning the bomb attack on an Israeli embassy vehicle, the Bharatiya Janata Party expressed hope that the "real culprits" behind it and the eight other terror acts since 26/11 will be caught and punished.

"BJP condemns the dastardly terror attack on a car of the Israeli embassy in the national capital and that too in the vicinity of the prime minister's Race Course residence. This is a serious development," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The opposition expressed hope that the culprits behind today's attack will be nabbed immediately.

Expressing concern over the larger issue of terror attacks in different parts of the country, BJP alleged that the government has failed to solve these cases satisfactorily.

"Today is the second anniversary of the attack on the German Bakery in Pune. A Chabad House was located near the bakery where the blast had taken place. In the 26/11 Mumbai attack also a Chabad House was one of the targets," Javadekar said.

He also referred to a reported foiled attack on the Israeli embassy in Georgia. "The sequence of these attacks is a matter of concern," he said.

The party also said it prays for the speedy recovery of those injured in today's attack.

 "This shows how international terror is growing. We hope the real culprits will be nabbed. There have been eight terror attacks since 26/11 and not a single case has been completely solved," Javadekar said.

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