Israel blames Iran for Bulgaria bus attack that killed seven

Israel blames Iran for Bulgaria bus attack that killed seven

 A lanky, long-haired man wearing a baseball cap and plaid shorts with a fake Michigan driver’s licence carried out a deadly suicide attack on a bus full of Israeli vacationers, Bulgarian officials said on Thursday.

Israel stuck by its claim that the attack was carried out by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim guerrilla group, and threatened retaliation. Seven people — five Israelis, the Bulgarian driver and the bomber — died in the blast on Wednesday.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. But Israel has attributed a series of attacks on its citizens around the world in recent months to Iran and its Shiite proxies, threatening to escalate a shadow war between the two arch-enemies.

The attack occurred shortly after the Israelis boarded a bus outside the airport in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, a popular destination for Israeli tourists — particularly for high school graduates before they are drafted into military service — about 400 kilometres east of the capital, Sofia.

Bulgarian television aired security camera footage on Thursday showing the suspected bomber wandering in and out of the terminal shortly before the blast. He was dressed as a tourist himself, wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, plaid shorts and sneakers with short white socks. He carried a large backpack with wheels.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the bomber was believed to have been about 36 years old and had been in the country between four and seven days.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that he had logistical support on Bulgarian territory,” the minister said. He declined to elaborate.

Officials were using DNA samples to try to establish his identity. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told reporters that a Michigan driver’s licence was retrieved.

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