Israelis targeted in Bulgaria suicide attack
By Diana Simeonova, AFP
July 20, 2012, 12:25 am TWN
BURGAS, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria released on Thursday video footage of a man it suspects carried out a suicide attack on a bus full of Israeli tourists that killed six people and left three seriously injured.
U.S. President Barack Obama called the blast on a bus at Burgas airport on Wednesday, the deadliest against Israelis abroad since 2004, a “barbaric terrorist attack” as Israel blamed Iran and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
“The suicide bomber, wearing shorts and carrying a backpack, looked like any other tourist,” Bulgaria's interior minister said.
The video shows a white man with long blond hair — possibly a wig — wearing sunglasses and wandering around the airport.
Tsvetanov said the man looked to be aged around 26. The authorities had his fingerprints and were testing for DNA with the help of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he said.
“His travel document was a fake driving license from the (U.S.) state of Michigan ... (His) identity has not yet been established,” the minister said.
The explosion ripped through the bus as around 50 Israeli tourists arriving from Tel Aviv on a plane carrying 154 people were loading their bags and boarding before traveling to a nearby Black Sea holiday and gambling resort.
Five of the tourists died at the scene while the vehicle's Bulgarian driver died in hospital, officials said, revising downwards an earlier toll of six killed plus the bomber.
The attack also wounded some 30 people, three of them seriously.
Witnesses described how panicked passengers jumped from bus windows and bodies lay strewn on the ground with their clothes torn off as ambulance sirens wailed and black smoke rose over the airport.
“We are facing a global wave of terror ... the attack in Burgas was led by members of Hezbollah and sponsored by Iran,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told public radio.