Israel blames Iran for deadly bus explosion targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a strong reaction after an attack on Israeli tourists that he says was carried out by Iran.

A bus carrying mostly Israeli youth in a Bulgaria exploded near an airport Wednesday, killing 7 people and wounding at least 30 others, local police and hospital officials say. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.

A Bulgarian news agency is also reporting that two pregnant women and an 11-year-old Israeli girl are among the wounded.

Bulgarian media is reporting that one of the victims killed is a local tour guide. Nine of the tourists are reportedly still missing, according to Haaretz news.

The incident took place in the Black Sea resort city of Burgas, some 250 miles east of the capital, Sofia. Images shown on Israeli media showed smoke billowing from the scene — a parking lot at the area’s airport where tourists had apparently just landed.

Netanyahu said “all signs point to Iran.”

This “is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will react strongly to Iran’s terror.”

Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov told Haaretz that explosives were placed in the back of the bus.

The attack comes on the anniversary of a 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that killed 85 people. Just this morning, relatives of the victims implored the Argentine government to pressure Iran to turn over seven suspects accused in that attack.

Bulgaria, an eastern European nation, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.

Although it was not yet certain what caused the blast, Israeli tourists have been targeted in attacks before before, namely in India, Thailand and Azerbaijan. Israel foe Iran is suspected of being behind these assaults.

Another spokesman for the Israeli ministry would not confirm that it was an attack. “We don’t know if it was a terror attack,” Paul Hirschson said. “We do know it was an explosion.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig said a flight from Tel Aviv had landed at a quarter to 5 p.m. and that the blast took place about 40 minutes later.

The tourists were apparently boarding the bus en route to their hotels.

The airport in Burgas was closed after the blast. At least 10 fire trucks are battling flames from the explosion, police say.

Witness Gal Malka told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that she saw someone board the bus before it exploded. She also noted that the bus was full of Israeli teenagers.

Officials said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had spoken with his Bulgarian counterpart and was being kept abreast of the developments. Bulgarian leaders, including President Rosen Plevneliev were on their way to the site.

Click for more from Haaretz.


This is a copy of the full article found on Fox News

You may also like...