Four NATO warships arrive in Varna.
The bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in eastern Bulgaria was probably carried out by a male suicide bomber with fake US documents, officials say, the BBC reports. At least seven people died and 34 were injured when the bus exploded at Burgas airport, by the Black Sea. Israel has sent planes to Burgas with doctors and officials to bring back the dead and injured. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Lebanese Hezbollah was the direct perpetrator, under Iran’s auspices.Five tourists died along with the Bulgarian bus driver and the suspected bomber. Officials had said a sixth Israeli died overnight but this was later corrected.The attack could be part of a covert but violent war between Israel and Iran, and there is a view among some analysts that this attack could be a response to a series of recent attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists.“All the signs lead to Iran,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday. “Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror.”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to point the finger at Israel’s arch-enemy. He also claimed this was the latest in a series of Iranian attempts to harm Israelis and Jews overseas – in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other locations.Other Israeli officials have made specific links to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shia militant group based in Lebanon. Iran’s state TV has rejected accusations of Tehran’s involvement. However, this bombing does look set to escalate a shadow war with Israel. The Iranians blame Israel for the killing of several scientists associated with its controversial nuclear programme.Barak said the attack resembled several recent attempted attacks on Israeli targets in India, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kenya and Cyprus. But he said that he did not think there had been any specific prior information that the attack was imminent.An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday that Tehran strongly condemned “all terrorist acts”.The Israeli foreign ministry said the bus had been carrying tourists from a charter flight that arrived from Israel.Bulgarian officials on Thursday released CCTV footage of a man they suspect was the bomber. The man, who has very long hair and carries a backpack, is seen walking around the terminal and then leaving shortly before the blast happened.Wednesday’s blast came on the 18th anniversary of a deadly attack on a Jewish community centre in Argentina. Israel blamed Iran for that attack – a claim denied by Tehran. US President Barack Obama described the bombing as a “barbaric terrorist attack”. Four NATO combat ships have unexpectedly turned up in the major Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna Thursday, following a deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas. The ships, from the UK, Turkey, Germany and Italy, have anchored at the Varna port under extreme security measures, informs OffNews. According to the news site, the visit of the ship has not been planned.
Romanian Foreign Ministry firmly condemns the terrorist attack
‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) firmly condemns the terrorist attack in Bulgaria the victims of which were Israeli tourists having come to Bulgaria, and expresses its support and sympathy to their families,’ a release from the ministry informs. ‘Concurrently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to convey a message of solidarity with the authorities and citizens in Israel and in Bulgaria and renews Romania’s commitment to the international fight against terrorism. MAE firmly rejects instances of violence and cruelty which nothing whatsoever can justify.’