Bulgaria backs off assertion that Hezbollah planned attack on Israeli tourists

(JTA) — Bulgaria is backtracking on its assertion that a terror attack in Burgas that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver was carried out by Hezbollah.

In the wake of the bombing, Israel, the United States and several other countries called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

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“It is important that the (EU) decision be based not only on the bombing in Burgas because I think the evidence we have is not explicit,” Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin told national state radio BNR, according to Reuters,

“There is an indication that it is possible (that Hezbollah was behind it) but we cannot take decisions with important consequences for the EU based on indirect data,” she added.

Vigenin and her Socialist Party-led government, took office last week,

The attack last July on a tour bus full of Israeli tourists as it sat at the Burgas airport lead to the deaths of five Israelis and their Belgian bus driver.

A British request to label Hezbollah a terror group was opposed at the EU on Tuesday, with several governments voicing concern that doing this would increase instability in the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal identified some of the reluctant countries as Finland, Austria and Ireland; France has also been against labeling the group in an effort to remain on good terms with Lebanon. The United Kingdom has classified Hezbollah’s military wing as terrorist.

The countries that currently identify Hezbollah as terrorist are the United States, Israel, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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