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Bulgaria Blames Suicide Bomber For Burgas Attack; Iran Denies Role

An Israeli survivor is carried on a stretcher to an ambulance as she leaves a hospital in the city of Burgas on July 19, one day after the bomb attack on a bus full of tourists.
An Israeli survivor is carried on a stretcher to an ambulance as she leaves a hospital in the city of Burgas on July 19, one day after the bomb attack on a bus full of tourists.

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Israel Blames Iran For Bulgaria Bombing

Bulgarian authorities say a blast outside the Black Sea airport of Burgas that left seven people dead and more than 30 injured was caused by a suicide bomber. With many Israelis among the casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Iran and joined other officials in vowing a tough response.
Officials in Bulgaria are blaming a suicide bomber for an attack on a bus of Israeli tourists that left at least seven people dead and say they are working with U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence services to determine who was responsible.

The attack took place outside the airport in the Black Sea resort city of Burgas after a planeload of Israeli tourists from Tel Aviv had boarded a double-decker bus.

The Bulgarian Interior Ministry says five Israelis were killed in the blast and dozens more injured. The number of Israeli fatalities had been revised down from six.

The Bulgarian bus driver was also killed, along with the bomber, who was reported to be holding what appeared to be a falsified driver's license from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Israeli leaders have accused Iran and it's Lebanese ally Hizballah of responsibility.

Iran's embassy in Bulgaria dismissed the allegations as "unfounded."

A commentary posted on the website of Iran's state television channel called the Israeli claim "ridiculous."

The Burgas blast is the deadliest attack on Israeli citizens abroad since 2004, when 12 Israelis were killed in a bomb attack in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The blast also came on the 18th anniversary of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 people. Iranian officials and Hizbollah have been implicated in some official investigations of the attack -- allegations denied by Tehran.

International Investigation

Speaking on July 19, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said work was under way to indentify the suspected Burgas bomber, whose body is reported to have suffered extensive damage.

"We have strong evidence to believe that [attack] was the work of a suicide bomber," Borisov told reporters. "We've been working closely with our FBI and CIA colleagues and no information was found about the [alleged perpetrator] in their databases. So, we can say with certainty that one of the victims had false [ID] documents."

Bulgaria's Interior Ministry has released a short clip of security camera video showing the man suspected of carrying out the bombing.

WATCH: A security video shows the man Bulgarian authorities say is the bombing suspect
Security Video Shows Bulgaria Bombing Suspecti
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July 19, 2012
Bulgaria's Interior Ministry has released a short clip of security camera video showing the man suspected of carrying out a bombing near the Burgas airport. The bombing on board a bus killed five Israelis, the Bulgarian bus driver, and the bomber. AP video


Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the attack was carried out by Lebanon's Hizballah in conjunction with Iran.

Speaking at a news conference in Jerusalem on July 19, he described the Lebanese militia as "the long arm of Iran."

He said: "Yesterday's attack in Bulgaria was perpetrated by Hizballah, Iran's leading terrorist proxy."

Netanyahu added that the attack was part of a global campaign of terror carried out by Iran and Hizballah, which had reached a dozen countries on five continents.

He pledged that Israel would continue to fight against terror and would "exact a heavy price from those who support it."

Outrage And Injuries

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned the bombing, saying in a statement that terrorism "can never be tolerated or justified."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said those responsible for the blast "must be identified and carry just punishment."

Israeli and Bulgarian officials, meanwhile, were coordinating relief efforts for Israelis injured in the blast and identifying the dead.

An Israeli military plane was preparing to fly back 30 wounded Israelis who had been temporarily hospitalized in Burgas.

A Bulgarian government plane will return some 100 Israelis who were not injured in the attack but want to cut their vacations short.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Angel Shishkov from: Bulgaria
July 19, 2012 10:10
Israeli officials have accused Iran and it's Lebanese ally Hizbollah of responsibility 2 hours after the attack. So fast. Oil! Oil! Oil! Stop american greedy

by: Ben
July 19, 2012 15:05
Congratulations RFE/RL! The first photo of the Jewish terror victims for years! I`m so tired of the fake killed Palestinian children .

by: Anonymous
July 19, 2012 18:17
Hizbollah as far as Nasrallah is concerned has always said what they've done and mostly done what they've said. With respect to Iran it seems that there is really no interest in bombing a bus with tourists.
Hizbollah could send rockets to haifa, etc. and trigger another regional war. this is not in their interest. syria already is in flames. jordan could easily be overrun by some radicals, etc. iran has probably no intention of of killing tourists. makes no sense. no strategic gains, no nothing. besides, iranians usually do not attack with suicide bombers.
Both groups do not profit from killing civilians in a European country.
None the less, let's wait for the results of the investigation.
Bulgarian politicians underscored the importance of patience.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 19, 2012 18:46
Nasrallah in Russian means "she took a dump." And boy does it smell good to me!!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
July 19, 2012 21:00
Sure,mate and in austrian it means eu genio,while in american it is just jack from the usa.And aaah,that smell,that smell as Lynyrd Skynyrd would say-it goes perfectly with the smell of your soul,old sport,even if you dont have one!!!
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 20, 2012 05:13
The comment above is made (using my name as usual) by Konstantin from LA and from his comments one actually notices that he grew up in the country of Beavus and Butthead: tipical "humour" made in the US.

by: Dog Bar from: Earth
July 20, 2012 12:21
Isreal is behind all the attacts on Isreali citizens
all across the world in cluding Bulgaria.
The evidence is there for all to see.
The evidence points to Isreali secret agents
hiring local millitants to do there biding. Killing I mean.
Most people would never believe of a nation
attacking its own, Japan did it in World War Two as an excuse
to invade China. Why not Isreal?
To get the rest of the world to invade Iran?
Over trumpped up charges of weapons mass destruction
and the killing of JEWS. which is what Isreal is doing funny that
and to top it off ENGLAND gave Isreal a weapon of mass
destruction called a nuclear Weapon in 1963 WHY..

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