Obama pledges to help Israel bring bus bombers to justice


President Obama harshly condemned the bus bombing in Bulgaria Wednesday that killed Israeli tourists, and pledged U.S. assistance to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I strongly condemn today’s barbaric terrorist attack on Israelis in Bulgaria,” Obama said in a statement Wednesday.

The United States will “provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack,” Obama said, reaffirming America’s “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people.”

“A bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded in a fireball on Wednesday outside an airport in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, killing at least four people” and wounding over 20, the New York Times reported.

Israel accused Iran of being behind the terrorist attack. “The indications are that Iran is behind this attack,” Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, said in Jerusalem.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the murder of Israeli tourists and said she was deeply shocked.

“I was appalled to hear of this afternoon’s apparent terrorist attack on Israeli tourists arriving in Bulgaria,” Ashton said in a statement. “I am deeply shocked by the scenes at Bourgas airport, where what should have been the beginning of a happy holiday ended in murder.”

Burgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, “has become popular as an inexpensive destination for groups of Israeli teenagers taking trips after finishing high school and before their military service,” the Times report said.

(Photo: A burnt bus is seen at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport July 18, 2012. At least four people were killed and over 20 injured by an explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists outside the airport of the Black Sea city of Burgas on Wednesday. The mayor of the city, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, said the bus was carrying Israeli tourists, but the police could not immediately confirm the nationality of the tourists. Police said several other buses at the site had been damaged.  REUTERS)