Hezbollah Behind Bulgarian Bus Bombing
Bulgarian investigators concluded Tuesday that Hezbollah was behind the July 2012 bombing of a bus full of Israeli tourists in the country, raising pressure on the European Union to outlaw the militant Islamic group.
“There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects,” Interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told reporters.
Two of the terrorists, including the bomber who died in the attack, had traveled on genuine Australian and Canadian passports, Tsvetanov said, although it was uncertain how they got the documents.
The attack in Burgas took place on the 18th anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of the Jewish center that killed 85 people and wounded 300.
Five Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian bus driver were killed in bombing, and more than 30 other Israelis were wounded. American and Israeli security officials agree with the conclusions of the Bulgarian investigation.
Israel, the United States and Canada were swift in issuing calls on the European Union to crack down on Hezbollah. So far, officials have drawn a distinction between its terrorist and political wings. The Netherlands is the only European country to fully recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
The group holds a significant number of seats in the Lebanese parliament and is a member of its coalition government. It is able to freely raise money in Europe for its efforts.
Should the European Union implement sanctions and name Hezbollah a terrorist group, there would be more pressure on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to move against its coalition partner.