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'Israeli diplomats were target'

world Updated: Feb 16, 2012 00:47 IST

AFP
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Israeli diplomats were the target of a failed bomb plot by three Iranian suspects in Bangkok, a senior Thai intelligence official said on Wednesday.

"These three Iranian men are an assassination team and their targets were Israeli diplomats including the ambassador," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Their plan was to attach bombs to diplomats' cars."

A series of blasts in Bangkok that seriously wounded a suspected Iranian bomber are linked to global political tensions, another Thai official said on Wednesday, after Israel accused Tehran of involvement.

"Yesterday's incident was caused by current international tensions in world politics," National Security Council Secretary General Wichean Potephosree told a news conference.

"It's happening not only in Thailand but also elsewhere."

A man carrying an Iranian passport had his legs blown off as he hurled an explosive device at Thai police in one of three blasts in Bangkok on Tuesday, officials said.

The explosions came a day after bombers targeted Israeli embassy staff in the capitals of India and Georgia, with a female diplomat seriously wounded in New Delhi, in attacks Israel said were plotted by Iran.

Thai bomb squad experts were called out to the Sukhumvit Road area in the east of the city after an apparently unintended blast at a house, following which three men were seen fleeing, authorities said.

One of the men hurled an explosive device at a taxi, which refused to stop, and then tried to throw another at police, triggering a blast at the side of a busy road which tore off his legs, they said.

Authorities detained a second Iranian man trying to board a flight out of the country while the third suspect was believed to have fled to Malaysia.

Bangkok has been on the watch for a terror attack since police last month charged a Lebanese man suspected of planning a strike following a US warning that tourist areas might be targeted.

"The attempted attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies are continuing to act in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that," Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said.

The country assailed Iran as the world's "biggest exporter of terror" after blasts amid rising tensions in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also accused the Islamic republic of being responsible, along with Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah, for a series of failed attacks against Israeli targets in Thailand and Azerbaijan in mid-January.