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Bus full of Israeli youth explodes in Bulgaria, killing at least three

Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.

Image

Burnt buses are seen at Bulgaria's Burgas airport July 18. Three 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.

Reuters

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A bus carrying Israeli youth in a Bulgarian resort area exploded Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding at least 27 others, police and hospital officials said. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.

The incident took place in the Black Sea city of Burgas, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Sofia. Images shown on Israeli media showed smoke billowing from the scene – a parking lot at the area's airport, where the tourists had apparently just landed. Several buses and cars had caught fire near the carcass of the targeted vehicle.

Bulgaria, an eastern European nation, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis. Bulgarian leaders including President Rosen Plevneliev were on their way to the site.

Although it was not yet certain what caused the blast, Israeli tourists have been targeted in attacks before before, namely in India, Thailand, and Azerbaijan. Israel foe Iran is suspected of being behind these assaults.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig said a flight from Tel Aviv had landed at a quarter to 5 p.m. and that the blast took place about 40 minutes later.

The tourists were apparently boarding the buses to go to their hotels.

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