Wife of Israeli Diplomat Wounded in Car Blast Near New Delhi Embassy

Suspected attack comes with attempted attack in Georgian capital of Tbilisi; both incidents come one day after 4-year anniversary of Hezbollah's deputy leader's assassination.

Tali Yehoshua-Koren - February 13, 2012
Tali Yehoshua-Koren.

The wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded on Monday when a car bomb exploded outside of Israel's embassy in the Indian capital of New Delhi, Haaretz has learned.

The wounded woman in question is the wife of the Defense Ministry's representative to India.

The incident came one day after the fourth anniversary marking the assasination of Hezbollah's deputy leader, Imad Mughniyeh, which the Islamist organization blames on Israel.

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New Delhi bomb - AP - February 2012

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Also on Monday, a Georgian worker employed by the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi alerted police after noticing a strange object attached to a car assigned to the Israeli envoy to the country.

Israeli embassies have been put on high alert around the time of the anniversary of Mughniyeh's assassination in 2008, fearing Hezbollah retribution over the Damascus attack against the group's the military leader they attribute to Israeli.

According to the report by Real TV, Gerber's driver Roman Khachaturian discovered a black plastic bag attached to the car's bottom. He then notified police, with local officers dismantling the bag and finding an explosive device comprised of a hand-grenade.

The charge was then neutralized, with the car transferred to closer examinations by Israeli security officials.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has in response to the events instructed all of its diplomats to stop using their vehicles until they are checked by security officials.

Foreign Minister Avigdor said immediately following the incidents that Israel would not toleratean attack on its officials abroad, adding that Monday's incidents show Israel and its citizens face a daily threat of terror, both "physical and diplomatic."

In February 2011, Israeli embassies throughout the world received several suspected terror threats that coincided with the third anniversary of Mughniyeh's death. The threat was believed to be directed at embassies in Africa, Southeast Asia and Caucasus

Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau cautioned the Israeli public at the time that because of the increased threat of terror attacks against Israelis abroad, travels certain destinations should be avoided, including Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania and Venezuela.

Just ahead of the anniversary this year, there were indications of a threat against Israeli diplomats and tourists in Bulgaria. Last month, however, the head of the Counterterrorism Bureau said it has no concrete information regarding a possible terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

The bureau emphasized that the initial warning from the head of security at the Transportation Ministry regarding increased security in European countries took place more than three weeks ago.

The Transportation Ministry continues to insist that the threats are credible and that Israeli tourists in Europe should be vigilant.

Danny Shenar, head of security at the Transportation Ministry, told Haaretz that he asked European security services "to tighten security around groups of Israelis in various resorts like ski resorts and hotels." According to Shenar, "I asked to formally tighten security because I am worried about a security-related incident."

Shenar added: "I've asked security services in Europe to escort groups of Israelis and conduct searches with police dogs."

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