World Bulletin / News Desk
A suicide bomber carried out the attack that killed eight people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the country's interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel accused Hezbollah of responsibility.
Video surveillance in front of the airport and the investigation showed the bomber could not be distinguished among arriving Israeli tourists, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said at the airport of Burgas, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.
"We have established there was a person who was a suicide bomber in this attack (on Wednesday). This person had a fake driving licence from the United States, from the state of Michigan," Tsvetanov told reporters.
"He looked like anyone else - a normal person with Bermuda shorts and a backpack," he said.
Special forces had managed to obtain DNA samples from the fingers of the bomber and were now checking databases in an attempt to identify him, Tsvetanov said. Bulgarian security services had received no indications of a pending attack.
Tsvetanov said eight people were killed in the attack including the Bulgarian driver of the bus and the bomber. The Israeli foreign ministry said it could confirm that five Israelis were killed.
The tourists had arrived in Bulgaria on a charter flight from Israel and were on the bus in the airport car park when the blast tore through the double-decker.
On Thursday, the airport in Burgas - a city of some 200,000 people at the centre of a string of seaside resorts - remained closed and police prevented people from approaching.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak claimed the Hezbollah carried out the bombing. "The immediate executors are Hezbollah people, who of course have constant Iranian sponsorship," Barak told Israel Radio.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was behind the attack and that "Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror."
Although Tehran has denied involvement, some analysts believe it is trying to avenge the assassinations of several scientists from its nuclear programme that the Iranians have blamed on Israel and its Western allies.