News Update :

Bulgaria releases video of bomber in attack on Israelis

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BURGAS: Bulgarian authorities have released a video of the suspected suicide bomber behind a deadly attack on Israeli tourists that Israel has blamed on Iran.

US investigators from the FBI joined the investigation into Wednesday’s bombing of a bus at a Black Sea airport that killed six people and wounded more than 30 as international condemnation of the attack grew.

Israel on Thursday blamed Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah. Iran described the accusations as “ridiculous”.

Five tourists were killed at the scene. The Bulgarian driver died later in hospital, officials said. Thirty-two people were wounded.

The remains of the Israeli victims arrived early Friday at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. The five coffins, with Israeli flags draped over them, were taken off a military plane that landed at 12:30 am Friday (2130 GMT Thursday). Dozens of mourning relatives had gathered for the plane’s arrival. Israel published the names of those killed. They were identified as four men in their twenties -- Yitzhik Kolengi, Amir Menashe, Elior Priess, and Maor Harush -- and Kochava Shriki, 44, who was pregnant.

The funerals will take place on Friday.

Many of the wounded, including teenagers, also arrived back in Tel Aviv after being flown home by the Israeli air force.

They included a pregnant woman and a young girl who was carrying a sandal because her right foot was wrapped in bandages.

Many had been taken in wheelchairs to ambulances to board the flight home, some still with their blood-stained holiday clothes on.

“The suicide bomber, wearing shorts and carrying a backpack, looked like any other tourist,” said Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Authorities released a video showing a white man with long hair, possibly a wig, and sunglasses wandering around Burgas airport. Tsvetanov said he appeared to be aged about 26 and had a fake driving licence from the US state of Michigan.

The authorities had taken fingerprints and were being helped by the FBI, Interpol and Europol to discover the bomber’s identity, the minister said.

The explosion ripped through the bus as around 50 Israeli tourists arriving from Tel Aviv were loading their bags before travelling to a nearby holiday and gambling resort.

Witnesses described how panicked passengers jumped from bus windows and bodies lay strewn on the ground with their clothes torn off.

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