Israel issues India travel warning after New Delhi embassy blast

No injuries reported in explosion in Indian capital as Israel warns of potential terrorist attack

Delhi Police officers and paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India. AP
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Israel has issued a travel advisory for its citizens in India following a blast near its embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, suspecting it could be a terror attack.

The explosion was heard near the Israeli embassy in the high-security diplomatic enclave in New Delhi, triggering concern among security agencies, who carried out an extensive search in the area. There were no reported injuries.

Delhi Police said they gathered potential evidence from the site for forensic examination and an investigation is underway.

The blast site was within 100 metres of the embassy. The incident occurred amid the Israel-Gaza conflict triggered by the October 7 attack by Hamas, the Iran-backed militant group, on southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people. Since then, more than 20,600 Palestinians have been killed during Israel's ground and air assault.

The war has risked escalating into a regional or global conflict as tensions mount between Iran-backed groups and Israel in Lebanon and the Red Sea.

The blast came a day after the assassination of a senior commander of Iran in a reported Israeli strike in Syria’s capital Damascus. No connection between the two events has been confirmed.

The explosion happened nearly three years after a blast in the vicinity of the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, in which no one was hurt. In a public message on Tuesday, Israel’s National Security Council (NSC), advised its nationals to stay alert, expressing concerns about a "recurrence of the events", particularly in New Delhi.

"It may have been a terrorist attack," it said. It has advised citizens to avoid displaying "Israeli symbols", and not post their trip travel details or photos on social media. Security has been beefed up in the area close to the Israeli embassy.

Delhi Police found a letter from the spot addressed to the Israeli ambassador. "A letter has been written in English to the Israeli Embassy in which threatening words are used," ANI news agency reported, citing police officials.

"The group whose name is written on the letter is Sir Allah Resistance."

Updated: December 27, 2023, 11:10 AM