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Five Israeli tourists were killed and dozens were injured when a suicide bomber detonated himself in the Bulgarian city of Burgas on Wednesday, July 18.
The attack, which targeted a bus carrying Israeli tourists, followed similar attacks or attempted attacks by Iranian agents against Israeli targets in India, Georgia, Thailand, Kenya and Cyprus in recent months.
Five Israelis Killed in Bulgaria Terrorist Attack
A tour bus carrying Israeli vacationers was attacked outside the airport in the Black Sea city of Burgas, Bulgaria on Wednesday, July 18, by a suicide bomber carrying fake American identification. Five Israelis were killed, along with the Bulgarian driver of the bus and the bomber, and dozens more Israelis were injured, including three who sustained life-threatening injuries.
In Washington, President Obama said in a statement that he strongly condemned the “barbaric terrorist attack.” The White House said that President Obama had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer his condolences and reinforced his support of Israel by pledging “to stand with Israel in this difficult time, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators.”
Though no group claimed responsibility, suspicion has fallen on Iran and its terrorist proxy Hizballah. Israeli officials have long feared that Hizballah would try to attack Israelis abroad. Wednesday’s bombing followed similar attacks or attempted attacks by Iranian agents against Israeli targets in India, Georgia, Thailand, Kenya and Cyprus in recent months. And it took place on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 people. Argentinian prosecutors have formally accused the government of Iran of directing the bombing, and Hizballah of carrying it out.
Meanwhile, Bulgarian authorities said they were working together with the F.B.I., C.I.A., Israeli intelligence services and Interpol to determine the identity of the attacker. An Israeli Defense Force plane carrying the wounded took off from Burgas for Israel on Thursday morning, and the dead were to be flown back later in the day.