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Not much yet...  but this is being reported live on Haaretz Here.

More details at Ynet here:

At least three Israelis were killed and over 20 others injured, some gravely, Wednesday, in a terror attack an Israeli tourists' bus traveling in Burgas, Bulgaria.....

“An explosion occurred in a passenger’s bus with Israeli citizens at the Burgas Airport,” Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikoliv confirmed to a local radio station.  Bulgarian security forces and emergency medical teams have blocked off the area. The airport has been closed as well.

According to media reports, a suicide bomber boarded one of three buses shuttling Israeli tourist across the terminal at around 5:30 pm and then detonated an explosive vest.  Bulgarian media said 44 people were on the vehicle at the time of the explosion.

Neither "paper" has more info. at this point.

The Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David - the Israeli Equivalent of the Red Cross / Red Crescent is sending aid). Also, the Bulgarian PM and other officials are enroute to the scene.

I will bring updates as I see them here.

9:21 PST: NO Claims of responsibility or blame yet from what I can see

9:24 AM PT: Bulgarians are saying that explosives were placed in the Trunk of the Bus

9:55 AM PT: This in from YNET:"As a precautionary measure the Aviation Authority has ordered to delay 11 Europe-bound flights after a terror threat was made against flights heading to the continent."

9:55 AM PT: Also from Ynet:An eyewitness told Channel 2 News that Bulgarian authorities were slow to respond to the event, adding that search and rescue teams and  paramedics "didn’t seem to care too much. They took a while getting these two small fire-extinguishers to fight a burning bus, and the airport's fire truck took over 15 minutes to get there."

Shosh Eyler, who was on one of the buses that escaped the blast, told Ynet that the blast took place seconds after the groups boarded the buses. "The bus next to ours just exploded. There was smoke everywhere and people were running hysterically. We got off the bus and local security officers got everyone into the terminal immediately."

10:13 AM PT: From Haaretz: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response against Iranian terror."

11:02 AM PT: Speaking in Jerusalem:  Defense Minister Ehud Barak promises that Israel’s security services will do all it can in order to reach those responsible for the attack.

“We have been tracking the intentions of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Iranian groups and the Islamic Jihad to carry out attacks across the world for quite some time. We have a long struggle with them, which includes many successes, as well as difficult days. Today is one of those difficult days. It is important that Israelis continue to travel across the world, continue to travel in Israel and live their normal lives despite all the pain,” Barak said.

 

11:33 AM PT: From the White House: White House press secretary Jay Carney says the United States "condemns such attacks on innocent people, especially children, in the strongest possible terms." Carney says President Barack Obama's "thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured."

Carney says the U.S. stands with the Israeli people and the people of Bulgaria. He says the Obama administration was working to learn all the facts in the case but the U.S.'s "commitment to Israel's security remains unshakeable."

12:02 PM PT: Hizbollah is denying the attack: Hezbollah denies all connection to the attack. A representative from the group told Lebanese media outlets that “we will not seek revenge over the death of Imad Mughniyah by harming tourists.”

1:35 PM PT: From Ynet:

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Israel's Channel 2 TV said there was no advance intelligence on an attack in Bulgaria

But counterterrorism expert Boaz Ganor said Iran and Hezbollah were the most likely culprits. He told The Associated Press that all the indications pointed toward them. He also cited the arrest of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus in recent days who was suspected of preparing a similar attack.

"This is probably a parallel operation and likely not the last in a series," he said. "All this looks like Hezbollah, Iran or a combination of the two."


2:28 PM PT: From Haaretz:  A source in the Foreign Ministry says official death toll stands at 5 Israelis, while 32 Israelis are known to be wounded.

4:09 PM PT: The Official U.S. Response: The White House said in a statement that President Barack Obama had telephoned Netanyahu with his condolences: "The president called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today to offer his condolences and assistance following the terrorist attack targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The President strongly condemned this outrageous attack that killed and wounded innocent Israelis and Bulgarians, including Israeli children. The President pledged to stand with Israel in this difficult time, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators. The President reaffirmed our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people."

00:42 A.M.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in response: "I was deeply saddened and angered to learn of today’s terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The United States condemns in the strongest terms this heinous terrorist attack against innocent civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their loved ones. The United States stands ready to offer any assistance necessary, and we will work with our partners in Bulgaria, Israel and elsewhere so that the perpetrators can be apprehended swiftly and brought to justice for this appalling crime."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hezbollah is top suspect but... (6+ / 0-)

    Could also be Al Qaeda-inspired group, a lone wolf, or even a rightwing connection a la Norway (which was one year ago this week.)

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:24:36 AM PDT

    •  Where do you see this about Hizbollah? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftynyc, Louisiana 1976

      I would not be surprised but I see nothing authoritative.

      My guess right now is that it is al-Qaeda and timed to coincide with travel for the Olympics. This being the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre. HOWEVER, I have nothing to base that on.

      I have no idea who it is though right now Hizbollah and al-Qaeda are running neck and neck in my suspicion sweepstakes.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:27:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Today's the anniversary of Buenos Aires bombing (4+ / 0-)

        The 1994 suicide attack against a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85.

        And comes as Iran/Hezbollah-linked plots against Israeli interests and tourists have been broken up in India, Thailand, Georgia, Kenya, Azerbaijan and most recently last week in Cyprus.  The Cyprus plot was specifically aimed at Israeli tourists at or near airports.

        But the fact that this is at least sofar being reported as a suicide bombing (something Hezbollah hasn't done SINCE Buenos Aires) leads me to consider Al Qaeda-types.

        I'd say I'm about 65%-30%-5% divided between Hezbollah-Al Qaeda-RightWingers.

        Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

        by TarantinoDork on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:34:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nah. That was PLO/Fatah, not Al-Qaeda or.... (0+ / 0-)

        Hezballah/Hizbollah. Entirely different group of folks with different goals, two generations ago.

  •  TarantinoDork makes a good point. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Lawrence, ColoTim

    This could be connected to the anniversary of the Breivik attacks last year.  It could also be any of the others he named.

    Regardless of who did this, it is a contemptible criminal act.  I condemn any targeting of civilians, regardless of nationality or ethnicity or religion, by any group or person.

    Thanks for covering this, VB.

    •  This could be a whole number of things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downsouth

      As I say - I think it will be tied to the Olympics personally but let's wait and see what the reports are saying. I think that is the prudent position.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:33:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have my fingers crossed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        McMeier, volleyboy1

        for the Olympics.  A friend of mine is on call if there is an attack, so cannot leave the country until the Olympics are over.  She is holding her breath already.

        I loved Bulgaria when I was there in the mid 1990s.  This is so sad.  And awful, and makes me really angry.  

        Thank you for the diary.  I heard of this here first.

  •  How horrible. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1
  •  PM Netanyahu just came out stating that (3+ / 0-)

    Iran did it, and that there will be a response.

    My question... Is it Iran directly or through proxy Hizbollah? Also, what will the retaliatiatory response be?

    Is there anything being reported in Beirut or Teheran regarding this and/or responsibility?

    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

    by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:15:26 AM PDT

    •  I suspect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      I very strongly suspect they used Hezbollah. But we know who is holding the leash of that rabid beast. Those miserable old men in Qom. They may have just given Netanyahu the final reason he needs.

      Language professors HATE me!

      by Zornorph on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:32:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So let's see, Netanyahu knows this how? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mariken, SCFrog

      Less than 2 hours after the attack, he knows it's Iran? Without being there? Without any investigation?

      He may have had intel that Muslims were targeting Israeli tour groups, but it certainly doesn't prove Iran did this. Turkey is next to Bulgaria - perhaps the bomber came from there?

      As others have stated, could have been Al Queda or some other European anti-semite.

      Seems irresponsible to me that Netanyahu did this without bringing forth any clear or direct evidence that Iran was behind it.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:03:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't know what PM Netanyahu knows (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Zornorph, Dr Swig Mcjigger

        or doesn't know.

        DM Barak's statement indicates that this kind of thing was being tracked.

        I am not saying Netanyahu is right or wrong as we have no idea as to the intel. that he has. Hence my asking for statements in Arabic or Farsi regarding the attack. I think the prudent thing to do is to wait and see what comes up. Then, rather than engaging our biases we will have a more clear idea.

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:10:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doubt it is homegrown violence (9+ / 0-)

    Bulgaria is fairly unique in almost never having anti-Semitism turn to violence. Even Hitler couldn't get the Bulgarians all that enthusiastic about physically harming Jews. So my bet is it is a group from outside Bulgaria.

    Then again, there is a first time for many things.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:18:26 AM PDT

  •  Kids (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Zornorph, auron renouille

    It was a bus full of teenagers. Sick! Not that targeting adults is in anyway more noble, but still...

  •  Confusing citations of a report (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, jnhobbs, ColoTim

    provided by Hizballah's al-Manar TV, describing an attack with grenades and machine-guns rather than (as other reporting indicates) a bomb. No official claims of responsibility yet, afaik.

    If this is the impetus for Israeli action against Iran, or Hizballah in Lebanon, let's hope that the evidence is irrefutable.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:53:33 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the report from al-Manar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot, jnhobbs, ColoTim

      are they reporting any UNOFFICIAL claims of responsibility aside from PM Netanyahu's claims that Iran is behind it.

      I am in agreement in the hope that the evidence is irrefutable before action as well.

      Out of curiousity, do you know if Lebanese Security Forces have been put on alert?

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:58:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't yet seen any reports of claims of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jnhobbs, ocschwar, ColoTim

        responsibility (and what I'm seeing re al-Manar is secondhand through other sites.) As for Lebanese forces, no idea; all of the Lebanese media I check in with are overwhelmed with developments in Syria.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:07:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That makes sense... and in a way it is interesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          If there is no movement on the Lebanese border or no security precautions then it makes me wonder about Hizbollah. I would think they would be gearing up for a retaliatory attack if they were about to claim responsibility.

          Now I wonder about Israeli Forces in the North as well. I think the key here is to start looking around and seeing what is up. If the Israeli Reserves get called up THEN much of the chatter about a strike on Iran gets that much more relevant.

          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:13:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          I would expect any Lebanese faction would be way more worried about Syria's mess boiling over into Lebanon than they are with Israel at the moment.

          Then again I wonder if an attack on Israelis would bolster one faction's image if a new power struggle started. I am reminded of a game I played in Japan that was all about Mideast politics from the Arab point of view. Israel was nothing more than a target. You earned LOTS of points if you invaded Israel and succeeded. You earned fewer points, but still many points if you invaded Israel and failed.

          I won the game by playing off other countries against each other til the very end. It felt strange to be playing a game that was so obviously anti-Israel.

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

          by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:18:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I went to Hebrew U. in J'slem (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, mole333, McMeier

            We did a multi week scenario where we took on the roles of all of the Middle East countries (Syria, Egypt, the Palestinians, Saudi, Lebanon and Israel), plus the U.S., U.S.S.R. (which dates the game) and the U.N.

            I didn't have the oddness that you did, as I was the playing the role of Israeli DM but, it was an eye-opening experience. Some of the things I thought were really important turned out to be meaningless and some of the things that I thought were meaningless (like Jordan) turned out to be lynchpin.

            It was fascinating.

            As for the Syrians and Lebanon... the Bulgarian news(should Iran or HIzbollah actually CLAIM responsibiliity) and the news out Damascus will be crucial to Lebanon.

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:28:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Oh boy... (0+ / 0-)

    Israel's got its "in" now. One has to wonder if we can pressure them to chill after our idiocy in Iraq. Anyhoo,
    here we go...

  •  I think what Netaniahu meant (based on what Barak (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    was saying) is that it was one of the groups sponsored by Iran, not necessarily Iran itself. That makes sense. We'll see how it develops.

    •  See the latest update from Ynet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Ferguson, FG

      They are linking this to other plots by Hizbollah. HOWEVER... Hizbollah, as of now is denying it (of course they want to CYA)...

      I don't know on this one. My speculation that it is al-Qaeda trying to either disrupt or upstage the games and cause trouble for Europe did not get much traction but, in the end none of us knows at this time.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:38:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for continuing to update this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, volleyboy1

    If I keep going into the other thread, I'm going to get myself banned.  I am shaking with rage at the anti-semites on this site (who we allow, if not encourage, to remain here) who are claiming without proof that Israel murdered her own citizens - teenagers, no less - just to be able to attack Iran.

    Even if Iran did this, either on its own or through Hizbollah, I desperately hope that Netanyahu is not as stupid as the Iranians and does not start an unwinnable war.  But fuck me, Israel must be the only country on Daily Kos that is not allowed to defend itself, against whom terrorism is either permissible or doesn't happen, depending on who you ask.

    If someone has an itchy banhammer, all they need to do is visit that other diary and start whacking away at the proverbial moles.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:30:34 PM PDT

    •  Well hang in this diary man... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille

      I was just told in the other diary that due to a posters "background" in Near Eastern Archeology that I am Hyper Aggressive responding to prevocation. I wonder what that background is telling them about me....

      Anyway, don't get banned - just hang out here in sane world.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:46:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You were diagnosed by an archeologist? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        Are you a broken pot with Sumerian writing on it?  Your family portraits must be fascinating :).  Let alone the extended family reunions...

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:54:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  By the way, this is a very weird attack. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    Hizbollah does not commonly operate outside of the Levant, although they do on occasion, and given the recent Cypriot arrests it could well be them.

    Whatever it is, it's just not good at all.  The closer this leads back to a governmental entity, the harder it will be for Israel to not respond and, given the current strife in Iran within the government between the plain old nutjobs vs. the really fucking crazy nutjobs (who in the process completely screw over all of the regular Iranians, the Tehrani 99% who wish that they could just live out their damn lives), it is not difficult to imagine the really fucking crazy nutjobs trying to pull the plain old nutjobs into an armed conflict.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:37:04 PM PDT

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