Scanning calls to Iran,Lebanon; Bangkok bomb similar: Police

Probe: 4 calls made to Pakistan,Mid-East before attack,from Delhi's Khan Market area.

Written by Prawesh Lama | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2012 2:19:12 am

Probing the targeted attack on an Israel embassy vehicle that wounded a diplomat and three others in New Delhi on Monday,Delhi Police officers today said they were looking at four international phone calls made to Iran,Lebanon and Pakistan from the Khan Market area where Tal Yehoshua-Koren had lunch with her husband before she was attacked.

Although 17 phone calls were made from the Khan Market area within an hour,police are looking closely at four calls made between 1.30 pm and 3 pm — Tal went to Khan Market around 1 pm and was attacked at 3.15 pm.

Two of the four calls lasted less than two minutes. “We cannot rule out any possibility at the moment. Two calls lasted for 1 minute 11 seconds and 1 minute 17 seconds,” a police officer said.

A third call to Lebanon was for about 9 minutes. “These may or may not be linked to the incident,we have to look at them closely,” the officer said.

According to the officer,more than 50 international calls were also made from a shopping complex in Chanakyapuri around the same time. Since it is a diplomatic enclave,such calls are not unusual,the officer said. What has the police interested are the international calls made from Khan Market,very close to the Israel embassy.

A Special Cell team headed out to Maharashtra today,although it was unclear what leads they were working on. Another police officer probing the attack on the Israel embassy Toyota Innova said bombs found in Bangkok and the Georgian capital Tbilisi were similar to the “sticky” magnet bomb used in the Delhi attack.

Police sources said intelligence agencies were helping them get reports from Georgia and Thailand.

In Bangkok,Israeli Ambassador to Thailand Itzhak Shoham told The Associated Press in an interview that after the blasts there on Tuesday,Thai police found and defused two magnetic bombs that could be stuck on vehicles.

“They are similar to the ones used in Delhi and in Tbilisi,’’ Shoham said. “From that we can assume that there is the same network of terror.’’

In New Delhi,Israeli officers landed at the Lodhi Colony headquarters of the Special Cell,inspected the Innova,collected samples and took photographs.

Police also found an abandoned red motorcycle — an eyewitness to the attack had claimed that the bomber was riding a red motorcycle — in the Lado Sarai area of South Delhi. Checks revealed that the motorcycle initially belonged to a resident of Satya Niketan and had changed hands thrice. Police said it was unlikely that this motorcycle was used in the attack.

“After the attack,we issued an advisory to report any abandoned red motorcycle. We have been receiving many calls about such motorcycles,” an officer said.

Responding to a query,Delhi Police chief B K Gupta said they had not yet received the forensic report in the case.

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