‘Were on high alert, not surprised at evil attack’

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI):
A day after a blast outside its Embassy here, Israel’s ambassador to India Ron Malka said there are enough reasons to believe it was a terrorist attack but they are not surprised at the event as the alert level had been increased for past few weeks following intelligence inputs.
In an interview with PTI, he also said the investigations will look into all possible angles, including whether there are any links to the 2012 attack on Israeli diplomats here while events around the world are also being examined to find any related operations or activities at any destination.
“These attacks by those seeking destablisation in the (West Asia) region cannot stop us or scare us. Our peace efforts will continue uninterrupted,” he said when asked whether the attack was aimed at derailing Israel’s peace efforts with various Arab countries.
He said Israeli authorities and the embassy are providing all assistance and every information Indian authorities probing the attack.
A low-intensity improvised explosive device(IED) went off near the Israeli Embassy in the heart of Delhi on Friday evening but no one was injured.
Some cars were damaged in the blast that occurred about 150 metres away from the Embassy in Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road in the very high-security Lutyens’ bungalow zone.
An envelope addressed to the Israeli Embassy and containing a note, purportedly linking the blast to Iran, was also found at the site of the blast.
Initial investigations revealed that the IED was planted in a flower pot on the median near Jindal House on A P J Abdul Kalam road outside the Israeli embassy.
The blast took place when President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present a few kilometres away at the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Besides, it coincided with the day when India and Israel marked the completion of the 29th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
Asked whether Israeli agencies will join the probe, Malka said a kind of cooperation and collaboration is taking place, but the probe is mostly being done by Indian authorities as it happened on Indian soil.
“But of course, whatever assistance we can provide, whatever we can share, we will do that,” he said.
On the envelope recovered from the site hinting at a possible Iranian link, Malka said, “You need to understand that the investigation is still in early stages, so it is not appropriate to talk about anything that might harm the investigation.”
He said it won’t be fair for him to talk about any specific detail regarding the investigation or other inputs relating to the probe.

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