Bulgaria confirms Hezbollah link to EU attack

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BULGARIA has evidence that Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah carried out a bomb attack on a bus in the Black Sea city of Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists last July.

The conclusions of the Bulgarian investigation, citing a clear connection to an attack on European Union soil, might open the way for the EU to join the United States in branding the Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, leading to sanctions and seizure of assets.

Three people were involved in the attack, two of whom had genuine passports from Australia and Canada, Bulgarian interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said.

“There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects,” he added. “What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah.”

Israel blamed the attack in Burgas, which killed five Israeli tourists, their Bulgarian driver and the bomber, on Iran and Hezbollah, a Shiite Islamist militia that waged a brief 2006 war with Israel.

Iran has denied responsibility and accused Israel.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil against a member of the European Union. We hope the Europeans will draw the necessary conclusions about the true character of Hezbollah.”