(New Delhi) A “very low intensity” bomb exploded Friday without injuring the Israeli embassy in New Delhi and damaged cars, police said.
In Jerusalem, an Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP: “We consider this a terrorist attack.”
The explosion occurred on the day of the 29e anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and India in 1992.
“The first elements suggest a malicious attempt to create a sensation,” police said in a statement, referring to “a device of” very low intensity “which shattered the windows of three neighboring cars.
The district where the embassy is located was cordoned off after the explosion, during the intervention of numerous police officers, deminers and anti-terrorism specialists.
According to press reports, the explosion occurred at around 5:05 p.m. (6:35 a.m.Montreal time) and the device was hidden in a flower box on the sidewalk near the embassy.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed that there were no casualties and that the embassy had not suffered any damage. In a statement, he said that the head of Israeli diplomacy Gabi Ashkenazi demanded that “all the necessary security measures” be put in place.
India and Israel enjoy cordial relations, with New Delhi having become one of the main buyers of Israeli defense equipment. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel in 2017 and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu visited India the following year.
In March 2018, an Air India Boeing from New Delhi was the first aircraft on a commercial flight to Israel to pass through Saudi airspace.
In February 2012, a bomb attack on an Israeli embassy car in New Delhi left four people injured, including a seriously injured woman. Israel had accused Iran of being behind the attack.
Friday’s explosion occurred not far from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as government and military officials were participating in a military ceremony.
A major security device is currently being deployed in the Indian capital due to farmers’ protests against reforms. The protest movement that has affected New Delhi for more than eight weeks has grown this week and clashes erupted Friday between hundreds of farmers and opponents of their movement.