Blast near the Israeli embassy in Delhi; revives memories of 2012 car explosion

Delhi, Jan 29: The IED blast that took place outside the Israeli Embassy in Delhi on Friday evening revived memories of a similar incident that took place nine years back when an Israeli embassy car exploded after the magnetic device stuck to it went off on Aurangazeb Road.

February 13, 2012, incident occurred at 3.16 pm at a busy traffic intersection on Delhi’s Aurangazeb Road — not far away from the Israel mission and the Prime Minister’s Race Course residence. Four people were injured in the blast, including Tal Yehoshua (40), wife of Israeli Defence Attache.

Eye-witnesses said an unidentified motorcyclist stuck a magnetic device to the rear of the Toyota Innova vehicle after which it caught fire. The woman had lunch with her diplomat husband at a restaurant in the area minutes before the incident and was going to pick up her children from school in the car.

Interestingly, the incident happened hours after police defused a bomb targeting an Israeli Embassy car in Tbilisi, the capital of a former Soviet republic.

At that time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not waste much time in pointing fingers at Iran and its Lebanese protege Hezbollah. Later, Delhi Police said Iranian citizen Hoshang Afshar Irani was the prime suspect.

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A report filed by the Delhi Police in court said the attack could have been averted had the Indian intelligence agencies been alert and the suspect would have been caught in 2011. Hoshang Afshar Irani was in India plotting the attack between April 24 and May 6 in 2011. He apparently did all the groundwork then. He came back on January 1, 2012, and left Delhi immediately after carrying out the blast on February 13.