Seven Israelis killed, 35 injured in bus explosion in Bulgaria

Source: DEBKAfile Special Report July 18, 2012, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)

Bus explosion at Burgas airport
Bus explosion at Burgas airport

The flight from Tel Aviv had just come in Wednesday and a large group of Israeli tourists had been picked up by three buses at Burgas airport when one of them exploded and caught fire. At least six Israelis tourists and a Bulgarian tour guide were killed on the spot and 35 injured, four critically. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak accused Iran of the attack on the Israeli tourist bus and pledged a strong response. Israeli security would reach the perpetrators, they said.
The blast is suspected to be part of the joint Iranian-Hizballah terror campaign in the past year against Israeli targets that were thwarted in various other countries, including Thailand and Kenya, Georgia, India and Azerbaijan.
It is initially believed that the bomb was placed in the bus’s luggage hatch with the Israelis’ suitcases. The blast damaged two other buses. The airport was wreathed in black smoke.
The wounded Israelis were taken to hospital in Varna and the Israeli ambassador is on his way to the hospital from Sofia. Magen David and medical teams are preparing to fly to Bulgaria to help treat the serious casualties. Al flights to Burgas are suspended and Israel has cancelled flights to Sofia.