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The suicide bomber responsible for the deadly attack on Israeli tourists at Burgas on Wednesday belonged to a Hezbollah unit working in Bulgaria, US officials believe.
Three senior US officials told the New York Times that Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group primarily funded by Iran, was responsible for the attack that killed five Israeli tourist, the Bulgarian bus driver and the suicide bomber.
US intelligence backs the claim made on Thursday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that Hezbollah was responsible for the suicide mission.
Despite a growing consensus on Hezbollah involvement, the Bulgarian authorities have not stated whom they think is responsible for the attack.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister, Nickolay Mladenov, said on Wednesday: “We’re not pointing the finger in any direction until we know what happened and complete our investigation.”
American officials think the attack was in response to the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran holds Israel responsible for.
However, a spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, dismissed accusations that Tehran had any involvement in the attack and criticized acts of terrorism.
Although the identity of the bomber is still unknown, the authorities have his DNA and fingerprints and believe he was about 36 and had been in the country between four and seven days.
He was carrying a US driver's license from Michigan state, which the FBI confirmed is fraudulent.
The five Israeli victims of the bombing were buried on Friday in Israel.
The Hague Tribunal has been successful in bringing wartime commanders to justice but hasn’t met expectations on reconciliation, chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz told BIRN.