Bulgaria says Hezbollah behind deadly anti-Israeli attack
SOFIA, BULGARIA (UPDATED) - The Bulgarian government said Tuesday, February 5, that two people with Canadian and Australian passports linked to the Lebanese militia movement Hezbollah were behind a bomb attack in July that killed five Israeli tourists.
"We have information on financing and membership of Hezbollah for two people including the bomber," Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told reporters.
"They had Canadian and Australian passports ... (and) lived in Lebanon since 2006 and 2010," he said.
The bombing on a bus carrying Israelis at Burgas Airport on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, the deadliest attack on Israelis abroad since 2004, also killed the Bulgarian bus driver and the bomber. Some 30 people were wounded.
Israel immediately blamed Iran and its "terrorist proxy" Hezbollah but until now Bulgarian investigators have stopped short of blaming anyone for the July 18 attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday a Bulgarian finding that Hezbollah was behind a deadly bombing in the country should push the EU to draw the "necessary conclusions" about the group, hinting it should be placed on a terror watch list.
"The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil, against a member state of the European Union," Netanyahu said in a statement. "We hope that the Europeans will draw the necessary conclusions about the true nature of Hezbollah."
The White House on Tuesday also called on Europe to take action against a growing threat from Hezbollah after Bulgaria blamed the militia group for an attack which killed five Israeli tourists in July.
President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan, his nominee to lead the CIA, called on European states to take "proactive action" to uncover Hezbollah's infrastructure, financing and operational networks.
Tehran has denied any involvement. - Rappler.com