Bulgarian police,the FBI and Interpol are struggling to identify a suicide bomber who killed six people,including five Israelis,as the US said the attack bore the “hallmarks” of Hezbollah.
Investigators have released CCTV footage of the person
they believe carried out Wednesday’s attack in the Black Sea
airport of Burgas on a bus carrying Israeli holidaymakers,
which also claimed the life of the Bulgarian driver.
After two days of investigations,Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov was only able to confirm Friday that the bomber was “not a Bulgarian citizen” and had been in the country “not less than four days”.
Fingerprints and DNA samples from the suspected bomber’s body were being used in the effort to learn his identity,he added.
The minister also made public yesterday evening some scanty details on the explosive used in the first attack of its kind in Bulgaria.
“We are speaking about trotile,about three kilogrammes. Analyses are continuing,” he told state BNT television.
Trotile is made from Trinitrotoluene or TNT a common material in military bombs and also frequently used in attacks
by militant groups.
Israel and Bulgaria meanwhile held emotional funerals for
the victims Israelis Kochava Shriki,44,who was pregnant,
Yitzhik Kolengi,Amir Menashe,Elior Priess and Maor Harush,
all in their 20s,and the Bulgarian driver of the bus Mustafa
More than 30 people were also injured in the blast,three
of them seriously,all of whom have since been repatriated,as have around 60 others who escaped injury. Some opted to continue their holiday in the Black Sea resorts popular with Israelis.
US President Barack Obama pledged solidarity with Bulgaria lover the “barbaric attack,” echoing indignation from around the world.
In a telephone call with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko
Borissov,Obama “offered his support for the ongoing
investigation,and for the Bulgarian people in this challenging time,” the White House said in a statement.
On Wednesday,Obama had phoned Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to offer his condolences and support.
Israel has blamed Iran and Tehran’s “terrorist proxy”
Hezbollah,saying it fitted a pattern of other recent attacks
or attempted attacks on Israelis including in Thailand,India,
Georgia,Kenya and Cyprus.
The Islamic Republic,already under pressure over growing international tensions over its nuclear programme,rejected Israel’s accusations as “ridiculous”.
“The attack does bear some of the hallmarks of Hezbollah but we’re not in a position to make any final determination on who was responsible,” Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters.