Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Deadly Blast Hits Israeli Tourist Bus in Bulgaria

An explosion has killed at least three people on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the eastern Bulgarian city of Burgas, Bulgarian officials say.

More than 20 people were also injured when the bus exploded at Burgas airport, by the Black Sea.

Witnesses told Israeli TV that someone boarded the bus and a huge explosion immediately followed.

Reuters news agency says Burgas airport has now been closed and flights are being diverted to Varna.

Israeli officials said the passengers from a Tel-Aviv-Burgas flight boarded the bus shortly after 1700 local time (1400 GMT).

"We don't know if it was a terror attack. We do know it was an explosion," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.The wounded were ferried to nearby hospitals and the airport was closed. A doctor on duty at the Burgas city hospital told Bulgarian radio that there were 27 people hurt — and at least three had severe injuries. He was not identified.

Officials said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had spoken with his Bulgarian counterpart and was being kept abreast of the developments.

Israel has been accused by Iran of being behind deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists. Israel has never admitted to involvement, but it and others have accused Iran of alleged reprisal missions, including a February bombing in New Delhi that wounded an Israeli diplomat's wife and the discovery of a cache of explosives in Bangkok that Thai officials claim was linked a plot to target Israeli diplomats

Israel has blamed Iran for the New Delhi explosion, as well as two others, one the same day in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and the other the next day in Thailand. Iran has denied involvement.

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