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Photo by: IDF Spokesman
Injured from Burgas blast on their way home
By YAAKOV KATZ AND HERB KEINON
07/19/2012
Medical team transfer injured to Hercules transport aircraft; first plane load of wounded expected to return to Israel by afternoon.
 
Thirty-two of the 35 Israelis injured in the Burgas blast will be returning to Israel Thursday afternoon on an IDF Hercules plane sent to retrieve them, Foreign Ministry officials said Thursday morning.

An IDF medical team transferred the victims wounded in Wednesday's attack to a Hercules transport aircraft at the Burgas airport Thursday morning for evacuation back to Israel.



The terror attack targeting Israeli tourists, killed at least seven people in the city of Burgas, soon after a charter plane, Air Bulgaria flight 392 arrived from Ben-Gurion Airport. The seven includes five Israelis, the bus driver and the suicide bomber, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The medical core sent some 30 officers and soldiers comprising surgeons, trauma experts and anesthesiologist to treat the wounded and prep for their return to Israel.

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The first plane load of wounded is expected to return to Israel by Thursday afternoon.

An IDF officer told reporters that the wounded mostly suffered from shrapnel injuries. Close to noon, a second Hercules plane is expected to arrive in Bulgaria to transfer the more seriously wounded. Three Israelis had been transferred to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, due to their extensive injuries. The Israeli doctors who flew to Burgas late Wednesday evening will go to Sofia to help treat them.

Meanwhile, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Thursday ordered the use of a government airbus to fly the rest of the Israeli tourists back to Israel, according to Sofia News Agency.

The rest of the some 150 passengers on the ill fated Air Bulgaria plane who were targeted when they arrived in Burgas will be able to fly home on a civilian airliner. It is expected that most of those uninjured, who flew to Bulgaria on that flight, will opt to come home.

The airport in Burgas remains closed to regular aircraft, though the Bulgarian authorities are allowing whatever Israeli aircraft is needed to fly in and out of the facility.

Foreign Ministry officials said it was still unclear when the bodies of the five Israelis killed in the blast will be flown back for burial, since the identification process is still underway.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report
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