7 reported killed in terror attack against Israelis in Bulgaria (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid, Zohar Blumenkrantz, Natasha Mozgovaya and Haaretz 07/19/12)
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WATCH: Aftermath of Burgas terror attack; Haaretz brings you minute-
by-minute updates on the deadly attack; terror attack occurs on 18th
anniversary of attack on Jewish community in Buenos Aires.
02:00 A.M. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemns Bulgaria attack.
01:09 A.M. 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
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."
00:35 A.M.: U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a
“The terrorist attack today in Bulgaria is a sobering reminder that
the scourge of terrorism continues to threaten all free people. My
heart goes out to the victims and their families, and to all Israelis
who have been the targets of such brutal and cowardly violence for so
long. We must stand together in the fight against terrorism, and we
11:50 P.M.: Bulgarian president said Israeli representatives came to
Sofia a month ago, but did not give any information regarding
possible attacks against Israelis in Bulgaria.
11:45 P.M.: A source in the Foreign Ministry says official death toll
stands at 5 Israelis, while 32 Israelis are known to be wounded.
11:34 P.M. Israeli Amb. Michael Oren to CNN: "The attack is part of
global terrorist plan in several countries that included also
American targets. Iranian regime proved it stops at nothing." Oren
also told CNN: "Iranians are trying to kill Israelis for years,
before assassination of Iranian scientists and Israel is not involved
in these I know nothing of them."
11:30 P.M.: Netanyahu spoke with the Bulgarian prime minister, who
expressed his condolences for the Israeli casualties in the terror
attack in Burgas. The Bulgarian prime minister told Netanyahu that
there will be full cooperation with Israel on the investigation of
the attack, saying the attack was not only against Israel but also
10:35 P.M.: Obama condemns ´barbaric terrorist attack´ on Israelis in
10:32 P.M.: IDF Chief Benny Gantz instructed the home front command,
air force and medical corps to prepare to a plane with a medical
team, in order to treat victims of the attack. According to Gantz’s
instructions, the plane is set to depart on Wednesday night.
10:21 P.M.: Itzik Levi, the head of a Chabad restaurant in Burgas,
said that most of the Israelis that were not wounded in the blast are
still at the airport. He estimates that there are over 100
passengers. According to him, Bulgarian police are not allowing them
to leave the airport until they give testimonies.
“People did not look so frightened, although they did seem slightly
angry. Some of them want to return to Israel and are not interested
in anything. Others want to stay,” Levi told Haaretz.
10:10 P.M.: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov
says “Bulgaria will do all it can to clarify the circumstances of
this terrible incident.”
10:02 P.M.: Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev arrives at the scene
of the attack.
9:36 P.M.: 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
9:25 P.M.: Ben Gurion International Airport will open between the
hours of 2 A.M.-5 A.M. The unusual move will allow the departure of
11 flights that were delayed, specifically to destinations in the
Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
9:21 P.M.: Tzipora Mani from Jerusalem, who is currently at the
Burgas airport and witnesed the explosion, said that after the
luggage was taken into the bus, her friends and her began approaching
"After a few minutes we heard a big boom," she said, adding that the
explosion took place in one bus, which was not full of
passengers. "They didn´t tell is what they´re doing with us and if
they are returning us (to Israel). We are now waiting patiently." She
added that the passengers of the bus were mainly young people.
9:20 P.M.: In her Twitter account, United Nations Envoy Susan Rice
calls the attack in Bulgaria "outrageous, an act of supreme
cowardice" (Natasha Mozgovaya).
9:19 P.M.: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov arrived at the
site of the attack and called Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman in order to report to him that explosives placed in the
trunk of the tourists’ bus were the cause of the explosion. Mladenov
told Lieberman that six people were killed in the attack while
another died of in the hospital. Two other individuals were in
critical condition in the emergency room. 30 others were being
treated at the city’s hospital.
9:15 P.M.: Bulgarian authorities confirm that two Israeli relief
planes landed in the country.
9:11 P.M.: Bulgarian opposition leader, Sergei Stenishev, expressed
his condolences over the attack, saying that “there is nothing in the
world that justifies killing innocent people. We cannot ignore the
fact that Israel warned us this past winter that there is a chance
that such an attack could take place. This is even worse considering
that the event took place in the airport, a place that must be highly
9:08 P.M.: According to Bulgaria’s interior minister, five people
were killed in the attack and 33 were wounded, 3 of whom are in
“We are currently preparing a list with the names of the people on
the flight, in order to identify the victims,” he said.
8:48 P.M.: Bulgarian news agency Focus reports 11-year-old Israeli
girl, two pregnant women among those wounded. According to the
report, all those wounded have been evacuated to the local hospital.
8:50 P.M.: Bulgarian interior minister says bus blast was deliberate
8:27 P.M.: 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.
8:24 P.M.: Several internet sites in Bulgaria reports that government
authorities ignored warnings and alerts by Israeli and Russian
sources over a possible attack
8:15 P.M.: Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov tells Bulgarian media that 33
Israeli tourists have been hospitalized, and nine other Israelis are
8:03 P.M.: Bulgarian media reports that one of those killed is a
local tour guide
8:00 P.M.: Michal, the mother of Ron Parhan who flew to Bulgaria on
Wednesday, said that her daughter called her in panic, and said that
someone blew himself up on the bus. “She sustained cuts and was
bleeding, they removed her through the window of the bus. She was
hysterical, and is there without a cell phone, so she could not say
Parhan said that her daughter was traveling with her friend, Gal,
before the two were supposed to enlist in the IDF next month. Their
flight left Wednesday at 2:30 P.M. and the two were supposed to
return next week (Revital Hovel).
7:52 P.M.: Bulgarian news agency reports 30 wounded in the attack,
four of which are in serious condition.
7:50 P.M.: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Iran is responsible
for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response
against Iranian terror."
7:47 P.M.: The Israeli tour company, “Kavei Hufsha,” which was in
charge of the trip to Burgas released a statement on the attack:
“In accordance with the information that we have received from our
local representative in Burgas, an explosion took place on a bus
which drove our tourists near the airport. We have sent our
representatives to the airport as well as to the nearby hospital in
order to provide any assistance. At the same time, we are sending our
representatives from Israel on the first flight which is set to leave
7:35 P.M.: Disruptions in flights from Israel to Europe expected in
wake of attack. The Israel Airports Authority stated that delays
should be expected in departures from Ben Gurion International
Airport, and called on the public to update flight companies
7:28 P.M.: Bulgaria´s EU Humanitarin Aid Commissioner Kristalina
Georgieva was the first Bulgarian politician to react to the Burgas
terror attack. The following is a post she wrote on her Twitter
"I am shocked and saddened by the news about the explosion in Burgas
in which there are casualties. I am following news the news
7:17 P.M.: Bulgarian news agency Novinite.com says there were about
40 Israeli tourists on the bus that blew up.
7:13 P.M.: Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov says bus exploded due to
explosives being placed placed in the trunk of the bus.
7:09 P.M.: Bulgarian news agency Novinite.com reports that the
Bulgarian president, prime minister, and interior minister have
rushed to the site of terror attack.
7:05 P.M.: Magen David Adom is preparing to send a minimal crew of
doctors and paramedics to treat the wounded Israelis in Bulgaria.
Israel’s Disaster Victim Identification unit is also slated to send a
6:56 P.M.: According to Bulgarian news, 18 Israelis have been
evacuated to a local hospital. Hospital sources say they expect more
Israel Police are being updated on the situation by the Foreign
Ministry and Israel Police in Eastern Europe (Yaniv Kubovitch)
6:54 P.M.: Death count reaches seven, according to Bulgarian
6:51 P.M.: Burgas airport closed, flights redirected to airport of
Varna, Bulgarian police says (Reuters).
6:40 P.M.: The Bulgarian news network Focus reported that three have
been killed and 20 wounded in the attack.
Several reports claim that the explosion was a result of a suicide
Bulgarian police stated that it was unclear how many dead and wounded
there were at the scene, but added that at least 10 fire trucks were
fighting the blaze.
6:39 P.M.: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke with his
Bulgarian counterpart, Nickolay Evtimov Mladenov, who is on his way
to the scene of the explosion.
Several Israelis were killed and wounded on Wednesday in a terror
attack on a tour bus in the Burgas airport in Bulgaria, local media
An Israeli who witnessed the event said that one of the buses that
carried Israelis across terminals in the airport blew up and went up
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that are several Israeli casualties in
This is a developing story (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 07/19/12)
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