NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian authorities have arrested a local journalist working for an Iranian news agency in connection with last month's Israeli embassy car bomb blast, a police official said Wednesday.
It was the first arrest over the February 14 attack that Israel has blamed Iran of perpetrating. An Israeli diplomat's wife, her driver and two others were wounded, and the blast coincided with an attack on another Israeli diplomat in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The 30-year-old freelance Indian journalist, Mohammed Qasim,
was arrested in a southern district of the capital, New Delhi, Tuesday evening and charged with criminal conspiracy, Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.
News channel NDTV reported that Qasim, who was produced in a local court Wednesday, had been in touch with one of the attackers. He was not directly involved in the attack itself, in which a motor-cyclist attached a bomb to the car and set off the device.
Last month, Israel accused arch-enemies Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind the twin bomb attacks that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia.
They were followed a day later by three explosions in Bangkok, Thailand, one of which seriously wounded an Iranian man. Israel said that was also part of an attempted terrorist attack by Iran.
Tehran denied involvement in the attacks, which amplified tensions between two countries already at loggerheads over Iran's nuclear program, and accused Israel of carrying out the attacks itself.
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Annie Banerji; Writing by Arup Roychoudhury; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and John Chalmers)