Israel vows tough response to Iran after deadly bus attack kills 7 in Bulgaria

by
July 19, 2012

By Associated Press

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Israel vowed to strike back at Iran for a brazen daylight bombing Wednesday that killed at least seven people on a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks attributed to Iran that have targeted Israelis and Jews overseas and threatened to escalate a shadow war between the two arch-enemies. Iran has denied involvement in the past but did not comment on Wednesday’s attack.

President Barack Obama termed it a “barbaric terrorist attack” and called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pledge U.S. help in finding the perpetrators.

The blast gutted the bus at the airport in the quiet Black Sea resort city of Burgas, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Sofia, where the Israelis had just arrived on a charter flight from Tel Aviv carrying 154 people, including eight children.

Black smoke billowed into the sky from the stricken bus after the bomb exploded. Young Israelis said they were just boarding when the blast ripped through the white vehicle in the airport parking lot. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at least seven people were killed.

“We were at the entrance of the bus and in a few seconds we heard a huge boom,” said Gal Malka, an Israeli teenager who was slightly wounded.

The resort town has become a popular travel destination in recent years for Israelis, particularly for recent high school graduates before they are drafted for mandatory military service.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which wounded 30 others. But suspicion immediately fell upon Iran and its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah guerrilla group.

“All signs point to Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Just in the past few months, we have seen attempts by Iran to harm Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and more. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world. Israel will react forcefully to Iran’s terror.”

The Israeli leader gave no evidence to back his charges.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israel-vows-tough-response-to-iran-after-deadly-bus-attack-kills-7-in-bulgaria/2012/07/18/gJQArk9ZuW_story.html

 

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