SOFIA, Bulgaria Hezbollah bombed a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year, investigators said Tuesday, describing a sophisticated bombing carried out by a terrorist cell that included Canadian and Australian citizens.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, in the first major announcement in the investigation into the July 18 bombing that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver, said one of the suspects entered the country with a Canadian passport, and another with one from Australia.
“We have well-grounded reasons to suggest that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah,” Tsvetanov said after a meeting of Bulgaria’s National Security Council. “We expect the government of Lebanon to assist in the further investigation.”
Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group and political party that emerged in response to Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, has been linked to attacks and kidnappings on Israeli and Jewish interests around the world. The group has denied involvement in the Bulgaria bombing.
The bomb exploded as the bus took a group of Israeli tourists from the airport to their hotel in the Black Sea resort of Burgas. The blast also killed the suspected bomber, a tall and lanky pale-skinned man wearing a baseball cap and dressed like a tourist.