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India: Blast near Israel embassy

Indian Paramilitary troops stand guard at the site of an low-intensity IED blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India on January 29, 2021 [Imtiyaz Khan/Anadolu Agency]
Indian Paramilitary troops stand guard at the site of an low-intensity IED blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India on January 29, 2021 [Imtiyaz Khan/Anadolu Agency]

An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated outside the Israeli Embassy in India's capital New Delhi today, police said, slightly damaging three vehicles.

Israeli TV Channel 13 reported that the explosion occurred 50 metres from the embassy.

A "very low intensity" improvised device went off at 5.05pm local time (11:35 GMT) on the highly secured Abdul Kalam Road. No injuries were reported, with only the windows of three vehicles parked nearby shattered due to the impact of the blast, Delhi Police said in a statement.

Initial reports suggest that this was a "mischievous" attempt to create panic, the police added.

Local media reported that police rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area soon after the explosion and had begun investigating the incident.

Voicing concern after the explosion, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, vowed on Twitter that any attempt to disrupt peace in the capital would be handled firmly.

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Israel's Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment on the incident, though the daily Maariv quoted the ministry as saying that there were no injuries or damage to the embassy building.

The Walla news website quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying that the Indian security forces and Israeli security officials were dealing with the explosion "as a security incident, and it is being investigated whether the embassy was the target."

"India has sent a message to Israel that it will do everything in its power to protect the Israeli missions and Israeli diplomats in India," added the official.

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