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Israel blames Iran for Bulgaria bomb blast; Obama denounces attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says "all signs point to Iran"

Bugras bus bomb blast 0Enlarge
According to Israeli media reports, seven people died and more than 20 injured when a suicide bomber boarded one of three tourist buses and detonated an explosives-rigged vest at the Burgas airport in Bulgaria. (Google maps)

Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for a suicide attack that killed seven Israeli tourists today on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Israel’s prime minister said “all signs point to Iran” and vowed to respond, The Associated Press reported.

“This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world,” Netanyahu said, referring to recent incidents in India, Georgia, Thailand, Kenya and Cyprus. “Israel will react strongly to Iran’s terror.”

In a statement, President Barack Obama condemned the attack, calling it a "barbaric" act of terrorism, Politico reported. Obama went on to affirm US solidarity with Israel, stating that "the United States will stand with our allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack," according to Politico.

According to The Associated Press, at least six people were killed and 32 wounded when a suicide bomber boarded one of three tourist buses and detonated an explosives-rigged vest about 5:30 pm local time.

About 44 people were on the bus.

Israel’s security officials suspended flights bound for Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Azerbaijan as a result.

“The bus next to ours just exploded,” said Shosh Eyler, who witnessed the attack. “There was smoke everywhere and people were running hysterically. We got off the bus and local security officers got everyone into the terminal immediately.”

Burgas, a resort city on the Black Sea, is about 250 miles east of the capital, Sofia.

There are conflicting reports, however, with Reuters confirming four deaths.

Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov said police couldn’t confirm it was a suicide attack.

“I do not know what it was, but it was a very powerful blast, and I think it was something placed on purpose in the bus,” he said, according to Reuters.

More from GlobalPost: Cyprus: Man arrested in connection with plot against Israeli tourists

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120718/israel-blames-iran-bulgaria-bomb-blast