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Israel diplomat attack: It's a terror strike, confirms HM

Last updated on: February 14, 2012 15:07 IST

Israel diplomat attack: It's a terror strike, confirms HM

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Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday termed the attack on an Israeli diplomat as a terror strike and said a well-trained person orchestrated the crime.

Condemning the incident, Chidambaram said diplomats of every country were entitled to live and work in India in peace and security.

"It is quite clear that a very well-trained person has committed this attack. There is reason to believe that the target was the Israeli diplomat's wife and, therefore, one has to proceed on the basis that it was a terrorist attack," he told the media in New Delhi.

The home minister was speaking for the first time on the terror attack on Tuesday in which an Israeli embassy car was targeted with a magnetic bomb that went off in a high security area in New Delhi critically injuring the woman diplomat. He said the Delhi police commissioner and the officer concerned (leading the probe) briefed him on Tuesday morning about the incident.

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Image: An Israel diplomat's car goes up in flames after an explosion in New Delhi on Monday


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'Well-trained person carried out the attack'

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The home minister said investigation was on and it appeared that a motorcycle rider -- single person -- came from behind when the Innova car was stopped at a junction because the traffic signal light was red. He said the assailant attached the device at the rear door of the car, the trunk area of the vehicle on the right side, and zipped past it presumably turning either left on Safdurjung Road or proceeding straight on Kamal Attaturk Marg.

"The explosion, according to the eyewitness Gopal Krishnan, happened within seconds. We think it happened within four to five seconds of the device being attached," he said.

Chidambaram said CCTV cameras located in the vicinity were being scanned and the investigators have got some images but so far there has been no clear image of any motorcycle of the number plate of the two-wheeler.

Special teams have been deployed to locate the motorcycle and identify the person who drove it, he said.


Image: Police and forensic officials examine a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

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'Diplomats of every country entitled to live and work here in peace'

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"We condemn the incident and, at the moment, I am not pointing a finger at any particular group or any particular organisation but whoever did it, we condemn it in the strongest terms," he said.

Chidambaram said Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon have spoken to the Ambassador of Israel in India Alon Ushpiz and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to his counterpart in Israel Avigdor Lieberman and assured them that the investigation will proceed until the perpetrators of this attack were found.

"We have friendly relations with Israel like we have friendly relations with every country. Diplomats of every country are entitled to live and work here in peace and security and any attempt to attack any diplomat and members of diplomats' family is condemnable," he said.

The home minister said that Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta had told him that the condition of the diplomat was stable and that she had suffered splinter injuries near the spine and got some other injuries.

"The other three (injured persons) of course are completely out of danger. Two were discharged. One is likely to be discharged. I am told, the lady is out of danger, we pray for her full and complete recovery," he said.


Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram


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