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Israel accuses Iran of terrorism after Iranian man blows his own legs off in Bangkok blast

imageIsrael accuses Iran of terrorism after Iranian man blows his own legs off in Bangkok blast
Israel has accused Iran of another “attempted terrorist attack” after an Iranian operative blew his own legs off while trying to flee an accidental explosion at a bomb factory in Bangkok.

The bizarre incident came just a day after co-ordinated bomb attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia and fuelled fears of a worldwide campaign by Iran to attack Israeli interests overseas.

Iran has been threatening retaliation for a series of covert attacks inside its borders that targeted leading nuclear scientists and defence officials.

It is believed the Iranian bomber injured in Tuesday’s Bangkok blast may have been in the final stages of planning an attack together with two accomplices.

The extraordinary sequence of events began when a large explosion ripped off the roof of a house in the centre of Thailand’s capital which had been rented by the three men for several months.

The first two men soon emerged from the house and ran off while the third, who was injured in the blast, attempted to flag down a taxi.

However, the driver, seeing the man’s bloodied condition, refused the fare.

Outraged, the Iranian man then threw a grenade at the taxi damaging the vehicle and injuring the driver.

As Thai police gave chase from nearby, he threw another grenade at the officers. It hit a tree, bounced back and exploded under his legs.

Maj Gen Pisit Pisutsak, Bangkok’s deputy police commissioner, said a passport found in the bag identified the man as Saeid Moradi, 50, an Iranian.

He was being treated at a Bangkok hospital where doctors amputated part of his legs.

A second Iranian man suspected of involvement in the blasts, Mohammad Hazaei, 42, was arrested at the airport. He was planning to board an Air Asia flight to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The third suspect remained at large on Tuesday night as police searched for his whereabouts.

Thai police said they had found more explosives inside the house where the first explosion occurred.

Four Thais, three men and a woman, were injured in the explosions which took place in the rented house in the south-east of the city.

Authorities were trying to trace Moradi’s movements, but initial reports indicated he arrived in Thailand from Seoul, South Korea on Feb. 8. He landed at the southern resort of Phuket, then stayed for several nights in a hotel in Chonburi, a couple hours drive southeast of Bangkok, for several nights.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called on people “not to panic” and said the situation was under control.

It was the second time in as many months that the Thai police have uncovered suspicious Iranian related terrorist activity in the country.

On Tuesday night, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, who left Bangkok after a visit on Sunday, said Iran had been caught plotting another attack on his country.

“The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror,” he said. “The recent terror attacks are yet another example of this.

“Iran and Hizbollah are uninhibited sources of terror, they are a danger to the stability of the region and a danger to the stability of the world.”

Last month Thai police arrested a Swedish-Lebanese man with links to pro-Iran Hezbollah following warnings from the US and Israel about a possible terrorist attack in Bangkok.

The man led police to a cache of bomb-making materials, 4,000kgs of urea and several litres of ammonium nitrate, but government officials said they were content with his assurances the material was being transported to a third, unspecified country, and was not planning an attack in Thailand.

Matthew Levitt, an expert in Iran’s overseas terrorist activities at the Washington Institute think tank, said Iran was globally plotting attacks against Israel both directly and through the Lebanese Hizbollah.

“We’ve seen a whole series of credible threats exposed in recent months in Azerbaijan, Thailand, India, Turkey, South America and Africa,” he said. “Its very serious because, as the director of US intelligence told Congress, Iran’s leaders see no red lines crossed by carrying out attacks on foreign soil.”

Indian officials warned the attack on a car carrying the wife of the Israeli defence attache was an act of terrorism carried out byby a well-trained attacker. The country’s home minister has vowed to find the assailants. Tal Yehoshua Koren, the woman caught in Monday’s attack, remained in hospital recovering from an operation to remove shrapnel from her back.

Yehoshua Koren managed to escape from her car after it exploded having seen a motorcyclist wearing a black helmet attach the bomb, relatives said.

Another explosive device found at the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi was defused.

Meanwhile the Iranian opposition Green movement claimed its had stage the first open protest in the Iranian capital in months.

The protests in Tehran marked one year since Iran’s main opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest.

Filed in: World News

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