The names of the five Israelis killed in a suicide bombing in Bulgaria were released Thursday, after Israeli authorities had confirmed their identification and informed the families.
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The names of those killed are Maor Harush, 24, and Elior Price, 25, from Acre; Itzik Kolangi, 28, and Amir Menashe, 28, from Petah Tikva; Kochava Shriki, 42, from Rishon Letzion. The sixth victim was the Bulgarian bus driver, Mustafa Kyosov, 36.
The bodies were returned to Israel early Friday morning.
Friends and relatives visiting the families of Harush and Price in Acre said that the two were "friends in their life and in their death." On Wednesday, the two boarded the flight along with another friend, Daniel Fahima, who was seriously wounded in the attack. The three were planning on taking a six-day vacation and were expected to return to Israel next week on Monday.
Dudu Hazan, a close friend of the three, said Harush joined the two at the last minute."Something was not right between them, so Meir and Daniel pressed Elior and he agreed to go with them. In the evening before the flight the three were sitting together discussing the expected vacation. They were together all the time, especially Meir and Elior. They were close friends since they were ten, and fate had decided that they will end their lives together."
Maxim Price, Elior's uncle, said that his nephew was working as a marketing manager in the family business. The uncle spoke of how they lost hope to find them alive. "We had the feeling that they would call any minute. They were considered missing, but to the last minute we were wishing they are well, we just couldn't grasp that they will no longer be with us. Unfortunately, the next day, at five in the morning, a forensics team arrived and asked us for blood samples to use for identification. At that moment everyone realized that it's lost." Since the family received the news, friends, family and municipal social workers arrived at the house.
Kolangi was traveling to Burgas with his wife to celebrate his birthday. The couple has a 4-month-old daughter they left at home. His wife Galit was seriously wounded and is still hospitalized in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Relatives noted that Galit did not want to go on vacation while leaving her daughter at home. Kolangi's sister, Yael, said that his family – wife and daughter – were the most important thing in his life.
Menashe was a friend of Kolangi. His wife Racheli was lightly wounded during the attack. Their 10-month-old son stayed behind at home.
Shriki took the flight to Burgas with her husband Itzik. Her family said that he was wounded, and only on arrival to Israel he discovered that his wife was killed in the blast.