"The Iranians and Hezbollah are determined to sabotage Israeli daily life and are operating against Israelis all over the world," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday morning, a day after an explosion tore through an Israeli diplomat's car in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India.
"We will have to act on the terror front and continue preparing for the challenges that lie ahead of us," he added.
Israel has blamed Iran and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah for the attack and a failed strike in Georgia that has ratcheted already heightened tensions between Tehran and the Jewish state. Indian authorities have yet to arrest any suspects.
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Meanwhile, the Israeli diplomat's wife who was wounded in Monday's blast in New Delhi is recuperating from an operation she underwent at the American hospital in New Delhi. Tal Yehoshua Koren suffered light to moderate shrapnel wounds to her lower body in the attack.
The driver of the vehicle was also hurt in the blast, which came just one day after the fourth anniversary marking the assassination of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyeh.
Sources who are familiar with India's investigation into the blast said the explosive device that was attached to the Israeli vehicle was manufactured on the lines of "Limpet Mines" and that these types of bombs were initially used to by naval forces in World War Two.
"Such bombs were usually magnetic and mainly used to sink ships at harbor. While the probability of the bomb having a magnetic base - because of which it got stuck to the metallic surface of the (car) - is highest, there is a very slight chance that it was Velcro-based," a senior police officer said.
New Delhi attack timeline:
- 3:13 pm: Silver-colored car leaves Israeli embassy. Lone motorcyclist wearing a black helmet tails vehicle.
- 3:14: Car makes its way to American school and stops at a red light at nearby intersection. Motorcyclist attaches explosive device close to vehicle's gas tank.
- 3:16: Bomb goes off, but gas tank does not explode. Car goes up in flames.
The sources pointed out that the device was compact and contained a 'sophisticated explosive.'
Both ammonium nitrate and RDX have been ruled out at the moment, pending a forensic examination, Hindustan Times reported.
According to an initial investigation, the bomb did not have a timer but did have an arming switch and a destruct mechanism wired to explode within five to 10 seconds after its planter pressed the switch to arm the device before sticking it onto Koren's vehicle.
"There was no shrapnel in its composition, at least none has been recovered," the officer said.
The explosive, police said, seemed to be of 'extremely high quality' since the glass windows of several nearby houses were shattered.
Koren was operated on by a medical team that included two Israeli physicians who happened to be in New Delhi and were asked by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to assist.
"During the procedure, shrapnel was removed from her body. We are waiting and praying for her health," Koren's brother Ido told Ynet.
According to the brother, doctors managed to remove a particularly problematic piece of metal that was lodged in his sister's back. "After seeing the vehicle, we realize a miracle had taken place," Ido said.
The brother said it was the driver who had noticed a bomb was attached to the car and told Koren to get out of the vehicle.
He said Tal was fully conscious but is still recuperating from the surgery.
Tal, 40, is the wife of Alon Yehoshua Koren, an Israeli Defense Ministry representative at the embassy in New Delhi. The couple has two children.
An initial probe into the attack revealed that the envoy's wife left the embassy with her driver after a day of work at the mission in order to pick up her children from school. The explosion took place a short while before she arrived at the school, apparently after a bomb was attached to the vehicle.
Koren managed to call the embassy and report that "the vehicle exploded," before being evacuated to a local hospital in a rickshaw. Officials said she suffered shrapnel wounds to her lower body. The driver of the vehicle was also hurt in the blast.
Indian media outlets reported that two bikers were tailing the car driven by the Israeli diplomat's wife in New Delhi and that at one point one of them "hurled something at the car," which exploded shortly after.
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