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Bulgaria Links Hezbollah to Israeli Bombing

Bulgaria has accused the Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah of carrying out last year's deadly bomb attack on Israeli tourists near the Black Sea city of Burgas.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said Tuesday that genetic material led investigators to conclude that two Hezbollah operatives were among the three men responsible for the attack.

He says one suspect entered the country with a passport from Canada while the other suspect had one from Australia. Tsvetanov says one had lived in Lebanon since 2006 and the other since 2010.



"We have data, showing their involvement with Hezbollah. A justified assumption could be made, that these two persons with already established identity belonged to armed units of Hezbollah."



The bomb exploded on a bus carrying tourists from an airport near Burgas last July, killing five Israelis and a local driver. Two people were seriously wounded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Bulgarian finding should push the EU to draw the "necessary conclusions" about the true nature of Hezbollah.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said his country would cooperate with the investigation of the attack.

In a statement, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says "the implications of the investigation need to be assessed seriously." It adds that the EU and member states will discuss the appropriate response based on all elements identified by the investigators.



The White House commended Bulgaria for its determination and commitment to ensuring Hezbollah is held accountable. In a statement Tuesday, the White House says the United States will continue to provide the Bulgarian government assistance in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

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