Terror Attack on Israelis in Bulgaria
by Daniel E. Rogell • Jul 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm
At least seven Israelis were killed and 30 others wounded in an explosion aboard a tourist bus at a Bulgarian airport. Israel's prime minister already blames Iran and promised a strong response, while Israeli media point to a possible Hizballah link.
"All signs point to Iran," Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Israel's Foreign Ministry website. "Only in the last few months we've seen Iran trying to target Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other destinations." He also noted that the attack took place on the 18th anniversary of Iran's terrorist attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, and promised that "Israel will retaliate." Iran reported the attack in government sponsored news, but released no official comment.
The bus was carrying 47 members of an Israeli tourist group. Some reports indicate nine people have not been accounted for.
Hizballah's Al-Manar TV station began broadcasting details "with excited commentary" of the bombing immediately after it was announced, Israel's Channel 2 reported. But Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah did not mention the attack in a speech Wednesday commemorating Hizballah's "victory" over Israel in a July 2006 war.
Bulgarian politicians also noted Israel's warning about lax security and potential terror plots in their country. "There is nothing in the world that justifies killing innocent people," said Bulgarian opposition leader Sergei Stenishev. "We cannot ignore the fact that Israel warned us this past winter that there is a chance that such an attack could take place. This is even worse considering that the event took place in the airport, a place that must be highly protected."
American United Nations Envoy Susan Rice called the attack "outrageous, an act of supreme cowardice." President Obama condemned the "barbaric terrorist attack," noting that it also targeted Israeli children.