Thursday 22 February 2018

Bus bomber in Bulgaria had fake US driving licence

CCTV stills show the suspected bomber at the airport in Bulgaria.
CCTV stills show the suspected bomber at the airport in Bulgaria.

Bruno Waterfield in Bourgas, Bulgaria

THE attack on Israelis in Bulgaria was carried out by a male suicide bomber with fake US papers, it emerged last night.

The bomber, killed in the attack, was a young man with long hair who was described as a "caucasian" looking like any other tourist.

He was caught on CCTV walking around the airport dressed in sportswear, shorts and carrying a backpack before carrying out the attack on a coachload of Israeli tourists in the quiet Black Sea resort city of Burgas, around 400 kilometres east of the capital, Sofia.

The death toll was raised to at least eight yesterday after the Bulgarian driver of the bus died in hospital overnight. Six Israeli citizens, along with the suspected bomber, also died in the attack, Bulgaria's interior minister said yesterday.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the suspected attacker was carrying a Michigan driver's licence that was being sent to the FBI for authentication.

"The explosion was caused by a man who died in the attack and whose identity has not yet been established," Mr Tsvetanov said of the attack, which Israel blames on Iran.

"The suicide bomber, wearing shorts and carrying a backpack, looked like any other tourist. He put his bag in the luggage compartment of the bus that blew up," the minister told a news conference.

Blame

"His travel document was a fake driving licence from the (US) state of Michigan."

No group immediately claimed responsibility but Israel was quick to blame Iran and the Lebanese based Shia Islamist terror group Hezbollah.

Israel's Defence Minister said that his nation is confronting a "global wave of terror" sponsored by Iran.

His comments came a day after Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, accused Tehran of being behind the attack near the popular Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach and warned of retaliatory measures targeting Iran.

"All the signs lead to Iran. Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror," he said.

Three buses caught fire after an explosion at around 5.30pm local time ripped through the coach carrying 44 Israeli tourists, including many teenagers, who had just landed on a flight from Tel Aviv.

Over 30 people were also injured in the attack.

The blast has been linked to the 18th anniversary of Iran's bombing of a Jewish community centre in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. "Eighteen years exactly after the blast at the Jewish community centre in Argentina, murderous Iranian terror continues to hit innocent people," said Mr Netanyahu. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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