Blast outside Israel's New Delhi embassy
Policemen stand guard near the Israeli Embassy after a blast in the area in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Rishi Lekhi)

An explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India, Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday.

Indian police said that the explosion was caused by Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The blast occurred shortly after 5 p.m. (11:30 GMT), while Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were participating in a military ceremony a kilometer away.

The site of the blast was quickly cordoned off by police.

Israel is treating the explosion as a terrorist incident, an Israeli official said.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with his Indian counterpart Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who assured Ashkenazi of the "fullest protection for the Embassy and Israeli diplomats." He added that "no effort will be spared to find the culprits."

In addition, India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke by telephone with the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, who updated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the efforts being made by India to investigate the bombing near the embassy.

Netanyahu said he wanted to convey to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that "we have full confidence that the Indian authorities will carry out a thorough investigation of the incident, and ensure the safety of the Israelis and Jews who are there."

The incident led to no casualties and no damage was caused to the embassy building, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. The explosion damaged the window panes of three nearby parked cars, a Delhi police spokesman said in a statement.

"Initial impressions suggest a mischievous attempt to create a sensation," the statement said.

"The incident is under investigation by Indian authorities, who are in contact with the relevant Israeli authorities," according to the ministry's statement. "The foreign minister is being regularly updated on the incident and instructed [officials on the ground] to take all necessary security measures."

On February 13, 2012 two bombs were planted on Israeli diplomatic cars in New Delhi, India and Tbilisi, Georgia targeting Israeli diplomats. The bomb in Tbilisi failed to detonate and was defused by Georgian police while the one in New Delhi exploded and wounded an embassy staffer. Israel later accused Iran of perpetrating the attacks.

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