Bulgaria Certain Hezbollah Behind Bus Bombing, Identifies Third Suspect

Bulgarian newspaper says man responsible for 2012 bombing in Black Sea resort was of Algerian origin and trained in South Lebanon.

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Reenactment of the Burgas bus bombing.Credit: AP

Bulgaria’s interior minister said he is certain that Hezbollah was behind the deadly 2012 bombing of a tour bus in Burgas.

“All traces lead there,” Tsvetlin Yovchev told journalists Monday, according to the Sofia News Agency. “What can we prove in court is another matter. If you’re asking me if I am certain of this – yes, I am.”

His remarks came several hours after the Bulgarian media reported that the suicide bomber, who detonated explosives on or near an Israeli tour bus on July 19, 2012, outside the Burgas airport, was of Algerian origin and had trained in terrorist camps in South Lebanon. Five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver were killed in the attack.

Sofia has said Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was behind the attack at the Burgas airport. The European Union last July put the group's armed wing of the group on its terrorism blacklist over the incident. Hezbollah denies any involvement.

The EU country has named two men of Lebanese origin as suspected accomplices of the bomber, who died during the attack. 

"The assailant was born in Algeria, lived in Morocco and was trained in camps in South Lebanon. He also studied at a Beirut university with the other two suspects," the newspaper said, quoting sources who declined to be named. 

The Balkan country has identified the suspects as 32-year-old Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, an Australian citizen, and 25-year-old Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen, both of Lebanese origin. 

The prosecutor's office, that is preparing an indictment for the attack, declined to comment.

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said last Friday there is a new information on the bomber, which is likely to extend the investigation into the attack. 

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the attack.