British MP Vaz says more attacks like India bombing likely

NEW DELHI Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:10pm GMT

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Third countries will increasingly get caught in the crossfire of other nations' conflicts, the head of a key British parliament committee said on Wednesday, after a bomb was planted on the car of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi this week.

"An attack in broad daylight in the capital city of the world's largest democracy, by what appears to be one group of people against the other, is totally unacceptable," said Keith Vaz, the head of Britain's influential Home Affairs Committee that has dealt extensively with the issue of militant threats.

"India is the third country in this context, an innocent bystander," the Labour MP added in an interview in New Delhi.

"Third countries are going to be increasingly used unless we tighten our grip on counter-terrorism."

Israel accused its arch enemy Iran of orchestrating bomb attacks in India, Georgia and Thailand this week.

But Iran, whose leaders had threatened to retaliate for Israel's alleged car-bomb assassination of several of its nuclear scientists, has denied involvement in the attacks on Monday and Tuesday.

While it was not known who was behind the Delhi bomb, which injured the wife of an Israeli defence attaché, "it's very hard to say there isn't a link" between the three attacks, Vaz said.

Indian officials said on Wednesday it was too early to pin the blame for the blast on any one person or country. Police were still searching for clues, including the location of a red motorbike said to have been used to plant a magnetic bomb device the size of an Ipad on the car.

Vaz said countries should step up information sharing to help prevent such attacks from happening in future, and boost the role of the international police agency Interpol.

"What we need to do is look at our structures very carefully, and not treat this as an individual country problem. It is a global problem now," Vaz said.

"Europe should be much more open to dealing with India if we're going to get to the bottom of what's been going on," he added.

(Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Ed Lane)

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