New Delhi: A low intensity blast was reported Friday from outside the Israel Embassy on Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi, less than one and a half kilometres from where the Beating Retreat ceremony was held.
The blast damaged a few cars parked in the area around the embassy.
According to the police, there was no casualty reported and no one was injured.
Teams from the district police and the special cell are at the spot to ascertain the nature of the blast.
“A very low-intensity improvised device went off at 5:05 pm near 5 APJ Abdul Kalam Road near Jindal House. No injury to any person is there and nor any damage to property was witnessed except windows of three vehicles parked nearby,” a senior police officer said.
The officer added that the blast appears to be an act of mischief. “Initial impressions suggest a mischievous attempt to create a sensation,” he said.
According to sources, shrapnels which appear to be similar to ball bearings came out of the bomb and were unidirectional, hence it could only damage vehicles in close proximity.
A police source said that the improvised explosive device did not have a detonator and it was more of a “crude bomb”. The source also said that someone “threw the bomb on the ground” and left and it wasn’t carefully planted.
“The way the shrapnels went in one direction, the bomb was not planted to cause much damage. We are ascertaining the chemical used in the bomb,” the source added.
Incidentally, Friday marked 29 years of India-Israel diplomatic relations.
“Delighted to be celebrating 29 years of diplomatic relations between @Israel and our dear friend #India. May the partnership and friendship continue to grow and reach new heights,” Ron Malla, Ambassador of Israel to India tweeted.
Soon after the explosion, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that he has spoken to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi over the incident.
“Spoke just now to Israeli FM @Gabi_Ashkenazi about the explosion outside the Israeli Embassy. We take this very seriously. Assured him of the fullest protection for the Embassy and Israeli diplomats,” he tweeted. “Matter is under investigation and no effort will be spared to find the culprits.”
Bomb was on the pavement
Police sources also said the bomb was kept on the pavement. “A loud explosion was heard outside the embassy following which police in the area rushed to the spot,” a second police officer said. “We are still trying to ascertain the nature of the explosive that was used for the blast.”
Three fire tenders were also rushed to the spot.
“We got a call that a bomb had exploded. We rushed three fire tenders to the spot. The situation is under control,” a fire official told ThePrint. “More fire tenders were not required.”
Soon after the blast, security in the area was stepped up. Forensic team too will visit the spot soon.
“The area has been cordoned off. The forensic teams will visit to lift clues which will help us ascertain the explosive that was used for the blast,” the second senior police officer said. “The CCTV footage from the area is being accessed to see who planted the explosive. We have also alerted all the neighboring districts and the security has been increased.”
No FIR has been registered until now, the police said.
In February 2012, two persons, including the wife of an Israeli diplomat, were injured when a device exploded in or near a car with diplomatic plates in Delhi.
The Delhi Police arrested an Indian journalist, Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, alleging that he conducted a recce of the embassy with other Iranian nationals.