SOFIA – Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov on Wednesday provided new
information on the aims of the suspected Hezbollah operatives who murdered five
Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver last July. One of the three suspects
died during the bomb explosion.
Tsvetanov told the The New York Times
that the suspects flew from Beirut to Warsaw and made their way by train to
Bulgaria. The goal of the Hezbollah group, said Tsvetanov, was to detonate a
bomb on the bus while it was en route to a hotel in the Black Sea resort of
Burgas. The interior minister told the Times that the suspects planned to use a
“This means that the bus could be easily blown up five
to six kilometers away from the airport. Of course, in this case he made a
mistake,” the Times quoted Tsvetanov as saying.
The interview with the
interior minister revealed that after the detonation of the bomb at Burgas
airport, two of the alleged Hezbollah suspects fled to Romania and then flew to
Turkey. Their final destination was Lebanon.
The Times wrote,
“Investigators discovered a forged driver’s license and a social security card
in the village of Tsar Kaloyan. DNA from the dead man was found on the social
security card, linking him to the fleeing suspects.”
to comment on whether the two suspects were still in Lebanon, and whether
warrants had been issued for their arrests. Romania has Hezbollah cells in the
west and pro-Hezbollah supporters live in the city of Timisoara. The two
operatives traveled by land to northern Romania, according to the
There are reports from Bulgarian politicians about an altercation
next to the luggage section of the bus. A dispute may have broken out between
the Hezbollah operative and Israeli tourists about the placement of luggage. The
conflict may have prompted the two remaining suspects to detonate the bomb with
a remote control device. It is unclear if the suspect who died was aware of the
suicide nature of his mission.