BEIRUT - The Lebanese Islamist Hezbollah movement dismissed on
Wednesday Bulgaria's accusation that it carried out a bomb attack which killed
five Israeli tourists last year, saying Israel was waging a smear campaign
Deputy Hezbollah leader Naim Qassem said Israel was directing
"allegations and incitements and accusations against Hezbollah" because it had
failed to defeat it militarily.
Bulgaria said on Tuesday the
Iranian-backed Hezbollah carried out a bombing on a bus in the Black Sea city of
Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists in July.
The conclusions of the
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 Hezbollah a
Qassem said Hezbollah, which fought an
inconclusive 34-day war with Israel in 2006 and is now part of Lebanese Prime
Minister Najib Mikati's government, would not change course or be deflected by
"Israel is leading an international campaign to intimidate
people and countries against Hezbollah," he told religious students in southern
"All these accusations against Hezbollah will have no effect, and
do not change the facts," Qassem said. "We will not submit to these pressures
and we will not change our priorities. Our compass will remain directed towards
Mikati has said his government was ready to cooperate with Bulgaria in
investigating the attack.
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