– Bulgaria has given Europol the names of two suspects – one an Australian – in a bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists last year, with hopes that the police agency can trace their movements and uncover how they financed the attack, the country’s interior minister says.
Bulgaria has also asked Lebanese authorities to arrest and extradite the two suspects, whoa re believed to be living in Lebanon, an official said.
The July 18th bombing at the airport in the Black Sea resort of Burgas also killed a Bulgarian bus driver and a suspected bomber. The names of the other two suspects, believed to be alive, have not been released.
An official Bulgarian report last week said investigators had well grounded reasons to suggest the two belonged to the militant wing of the Islamist group Hezbollah. The report said they had been living in Lebanon for years, one with a Canadian passport and the other an Australian.
The identity of the suspect who died in the bombing remains unknown even though his DNA samples have been shared with foreign intelligence agencies. In Sofia, Stanimir Florov, head of an anti-terrorism unit, said on Tuesday there was categorical evidence the man was not a suicide bomber. Authorities suspect he detonated the bomb accidentally or that a colleague did so remotely.
“If he was a kamikaze, he would have entered the bus packed with 47 passengers and blown himself up, causing a huge death toll,” Mr Florov told Bulgarian National Radio.
Israel has accused Iran, which is said to support Hezbollah, of involvement in the attack. Both Iran and Hezbollah have denied any role.
Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, met Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, in the Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday. Europol coordinates national police forces across the European Union.
Mr Tsvetanov said Bulgaria hoped Europol could provide a thorough check and analysis (that) will help find new facts about the terrorist act – AP