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جمعرات، 19 جولائی، 2012

What's behind the Burgas blast?

 Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the attack that killed Israeli tourists and bus driver was carried out by a suicide bomber.

The Bulgarian police have published the image of a man suspected of perpetrating a terror attack at the Burgas Arporton Wednesday night.

Eight people were killed as a bus carrying 40 Israeli tourists approached the Sarafovo international airport terminal in the Bulgarian holiday city of Burgas, which is popular with Israeli tourists. The bus driver and 18 injured tourists were hospitalized, four of them are in critical condition. The hospital building has been put under 24-hour security. 

Reports that two Russians were injured following a deadly blast on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria are either a provocation, or a mistake, the Russian consulate in Varna said.

The blast rocked the airport building and set ablaze two buses and several cars parked nearby. Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has said that the bombing was most likely a suicide attack. The attacker is known to have been carrying a fake driving license from the United States.

US President Barack Obama has pledged every kind of assistance in tracing the culprits. He also expressed regret that Israeli nationals had become a target for a terrorist attack again and reaffirmed the US’ commitment to guarantee the security of its Middle East ally.

The Israeli government blames Iran for masterminding the attack. “All signs point to Iran”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday. He said that the past few months had seen attempts by Iran to harm Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other countries and that Israel would react forcefully to Iran's terror. According to Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the attack was probably initiated by Hezbollah, or Hamas, or Islamic Jihad.

Yevgeny Satanovsky of the Russian Institute for the Middle East said as he met with a Voice of Russia correspondent on Thursday that Hezbollah’s leader Sheikh Nasrallah admitted in a recent interview that Iran had been supplying Hezbollah and Hamas with weapons. The Hezbollah leader also made it clear that the Arab resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands would continue on all fronts. Yevgeny Satanovsky sees a connection between these statements and the Burgas blast.


"As the undeclared war between Iran and Israel unwinds, Israel is targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, while Iran is targeting diplomats and civilians. The recent terrorist attack is unlikely to worsen the situation in the region: when you are afflicted with cholera, a rise in another patient’s temperature will not affect the overall atmosphere in the cholera ward. The Middle East has exploded with Arab Spring uprisings. As regimes crumble one after another, we are rapidly moving towards a large-scale war between Iran and the Arabian monarchies. Syria is one of the fronts of this war. Given the situation, Israel is not attractive as a target. Only its old opponents are waging war against it. But as they do so, they themselves come under attack from entirely different directions."

Israel expert Alexander Eterman said in a Voice of Russia interview that the accusations against Iran could be premature as the identity of the suicide attacker had not been established and it was still unclear what kind of explosives had been used in the attack.

"Israel is sending a team of 7 investigators to Bulgaria. It’d make more sense to wait a couple of days before making any accusations. However, the accusations I question sound right. Hezbollah has been planning to settle the scores with Israel for years. It looks like Iran and Hezbollah are behind the attack."

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, those responsible for the deadly blast must be identified and brought to justice. Moscow has condemned the attack as outrageous pursuing the criminal purpose of killing innocent people, including women and children.

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