New Delhi probe in early stages

Israel victim describes events in bombing against Israeli diplomats in New Delhi.

By KANCHAN GUPTA, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
February 16, 2012 02:34
2 minute read.
Vehicle is towed away in India: Illustrative)

Israeli vehicle is towed away from embassy_390. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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NEW DELHI – Investigations into Monday’s “sticky bomb” terrorist attack on Israeli Embassy staffer Tal Yehoshua-Koren, wife of the defense attaché, have yet to make any substantial headway.

The person who planted the “sticky bomb” on Yehoshua-Koren’s car was riding a red motorcycle.

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On Wednesday, the police were alerted by residents of a south Delhi neighborhood who had spotted an abandoned red motorcycle in a park.

A second abandoned motorcycle was found in Connaught Place, in the heart of New Delhi.

The first motorcycle had been resold thrice. Police are questioning the last owner. The second motorcycle has been described as a “stolen vehicle.” Forensic experts are examining the vehicles to check whether either could have been used for the attack.

There had been confusion over the sequence of events leading to the explosion and resultant fire that engulfed the car in which Yehoshua-Koren was traveling. Now she has described what happened, reconciling the conflicting reports.

According to highly placed sources, Yehoshua- Koren, recovering from injuries and emergency surgery in a Delhi hospital, said that she heard and felt a thud in the rear of the car as it slowed down at a traffic light. She thought another vehicle had hit the car (Delhi roads are infamous for reckless drivers, especially motorcyclists) and rolled down the window to yell at the miscreant.

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As she did so, a motorcyclist zipped past her car, hit a post, turned left and sped away.

The next moment there was a huge explosion followed by a blaze. Yehoshua-Koren suffered shrapnel wounds. Her Indian driver, Manoj Sharma, also injured and bleeding, unstrapped his seat belt, dragged Yehoshua-Koren out, put her in an auto-rickshaw and raced back to the nearby embassy.

This sequence of events has ruled out the possibility that the bomb was placed on the car earlier in the day. There was speculation in Indian newspapers that the explosive device may have been planted while the car waited for Yehoshua- Koren at Khan Market, a fashionable shopping arcade near the embassy frequented by diplomats.

Delhi Police said forensic tests on the car have revealed traces of potassium chlorate and nitrate.

Findings suggest that the sticky bomb may have weighed 250 to 300 grams.

Indian security agencies are in contact with their counterparts in Georgia and Thailand, where similar attacks on Israelis were attempted in the past three days. India has sought details of investigators’ findings in those countries. The records of all Iranians living in Delhi are being scrutinized.

Israel’s Ambassador Alon Ushpiz met India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday to compare notes on the attack. Ushpiz has sought increased security for the Israeli mission and its staff. He has been promised all possible assistance and security.

The government of India has agreed to Israel sending a team of investigators, including forensic experts, to Delhi. “India would welcome them,” Krishna told Ushpiz.

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