JERUSALEM, July 19 Israeli Defence Minister Ehud
Barak said on Thursday that the Iranian-backed Lebanese group
Hezbollah carried out the deadly bomb attack on a bus carrying
Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on Wednesday.
Bulgarian officials said six people were killed when the
bomb went off outside Bulgaria's Burgas airport. Israeli media
reported that eight people had been killed and that six of them
were Israelis.[ID: nL2E8IJ0EP]
"The immediate executers are Hezbollah people, who of course
have constant Iranian sponsorship," Barak told Israel Radio.
The tourists had arrived on a charter flight from Israel and
were on the bus in the airport car park when the blast tore
through the double-decker. Body parts were strewn across the
ground and mangled metal hung from the bus's ripped roof.
Hours after the attack Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said Teheran was behind the attack and that "Israel
will react powerfully against Iranian terror." There was no
immediate Iranian reaction to the Israeli accusation.
The blast came on the 18th anniversary of a 1994 bomb attack
on the headquarters of Argentina's main Jewish organisation by a
Hezbollah suicide bomber, which killed 85 people.
Israeli officials had previously said that Bulgaria, a
popular holiday destination for Israeli tourists, was vulnerable
to attack by Islamist militants who could infiltrate via Turkey.
Israeli diplomats have been targeted in several countries in
recent months by bombers who Israel said struck on behalf of
Although Tehran has denied involvement, some analysts
believe it is trying to avenge the assassinations of several
scientists from its nuclear programme, which the Iranians have
blamed on Israel and its Western allies.
Israel and Western powers fear that Iran is working towards
a nuclear bomb, but Tehran says its research is strictly for
peaceful ends. Both Israel and the United States have not ruled
out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.