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Coordinated Attacks on Israel take Middle East to the Brink

Bystanders tend to an Israeli diplomat (partially obscured, on ground) following a bomb blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi Monday. (AFP)

The Middle East may have taken another step towards war Monday as Israel blamed Iran and its terrorist ally Hezbollah for two apparently co-ordinated attacks on Israeli embassies in India and Georgia.

In the first attack, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured when a bomb exploded in or near her car in New Delhi.

The woman managed to make it back to the Israeli embassy and was rushed to hospital. Israel Radio reported the injured woman was the wife of the Israel’s military attache at the embassy in New Delhi.

Indian officials are said to be investigating the possibility the bomb was placed underneath the car or that an assassin on a motorcycle either attached a bomb to the car or threw it at the vehicle.

Indian television cited witnesses who claimed to have seen a motorcycle following the car and possibly throwing something moments before.

In the second attack, an embassy staffer in Tbilisi, Georgia discovered a bomb underneath his car as he was driving to the embassy Monday morning. He reportedly heard an unusual sound and discovered the bomb when he pulled over to inspect. Police managed to disarm the weapon before it exploded.

The attacks mirror similar assassination attempts against nuclear scientists in Iran, which Iranian officials have blamed on Israeli and U.S. agents. Monday’s attacks also occurred a day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniya in a car bombing in Damascus.

Israel’s Prime Minister immediately blamed Iran for the two terror attacks Monday saying that Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, were responsible.

“In recent months we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Thailand and others,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “In each instance we succeeded in foiling the attacks in cooperation with local authorities. Iran and Hezbollah were behind all of these attempted attacks.”

“Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions.”

Monday’s attacks occurred as the Middle East faces increasing threats of a regional war, with Israel threatening to attack Iran’s secret nuclear installations to prevent Tehran getting nuclear weapons.

Iran has threatened to retaliate in the event of an attack, vowing to wipe Israel off the map, while also threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz to international oil shipments.

…(National Post)

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February 14, 2012 - Posted by | Violence, War | , , , , , ,

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