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Hezbollah on bus bombing: We wouldn't target tourists for revenge (+video)

Some speculate that the Bulgaria bus bombing that killed five Israelis was revenge for the death of a Hezbollah commander, but Hezbollah said it does not consider tourists an equivalent target.

By / July 19, 2012

Debris from a bus that was damaged in a bomb blast on Wednesday is seen outside Burgas Airport, about 248 miles east of Sofia on Thursday, July 19. A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed eight people, including five Israelis, in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

Courtesy of Interior Ministry/Reuters

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Beirut

The Israeli government has wasted little time in blaming Iran and its Lebanese ally, militant Shiite Hezbollah, for yesterday's bus bomb blast that killed eight people, including five Israelis, in Bulgaria.

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Israeli emergency teams tended to victims after a bus carrying tourists was bombed in Bulgaria.

“For over a year, Iran, along with its protégé Hezbollah, has been waging an international terror campaign,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in a televised statement today. He called Iran “the world’s No. 1 exporter of terror” and Hezbollah its “long arm.”

But the attack by a suspected suicide bomber bore little resemblance to past bomb spectaculars pinned on Hezbollah that left hundreds dead and in 2002 earned the organization the tag “the A-team of terrorists” from a Bush administration official. 

Both Iran and Hezbollah have denied any involvement in the attack.

“We will not seek revenge over the death of Imad Mughniyah by harming tourists,” a Hezbollah spokesman told Lebanese media channels last night. Mr. Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s top military commander, was assassinated in a car-bomb explosion in Damascus in February 2008. Hezbollah blamed Israel for Mughniyah’s killing and vowed to take revenge.

Still, Israel’s accusations are based on a series of foiled or bungled bomb and assassination plots over the past two years that have spanned the globe, from India to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Georgia, Kenya, and Cyprus. Some of the perpetrators of the planned attacks have been linked to Iran and to Hezbollah. 

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