Hezbollah aimed to blow up Israeli bus

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister provided new information on the aims of the suspected Hezbollah operatives who murdered six.

Bulgaria bus bomb 390 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Bulgaria bus bomb 390
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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 remote detonator.
“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.”
Tsvetanov declined 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 Times.
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.