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Israelis killed in Bulgaria bus blast

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A bus carrying Israeli youth has exploded in a Bulgarian resort, killing at least four people and wounding 27, police and hospital officials said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Wednesday's blast "an Iranian terror attack" and promised a tough response.

The explosion took place in the Black Sea city of Burgas, some 400km east of the capital, Sofia. Images shown on Israeli and Bulgarian media showed smoke billowing from the scene - a parking lot at the local airport, where the Israeli tourists had apparently just landed.

Several buses and cars were on fire near the carcass of the targeted vehicle.

Bulgaria, an eastern European nation bordering Greece and Turkey, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.

It was not yet certain what caused the blast - whether it was the result of a suicide bomber or a device remotely detonated - and no group immediately claimed responsibility.

Israeli officials confirmed that Israeli citizens were targeted in the attack.

"What we know is that sometime close to 5:00 pm there was a flight that landed in Burgas, the passengers went onto a bus and then there was an explosion that we don't know the source of," said Ilana Stein, deputy spokeswoman for the Israeli foreign ministry.

"What we know is that there are casualties and probably not only injured but also dead. We know that some were Israelis but we don't know if all of them were," she told AFP.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the attack, warning that his country would "respond forcefully" to strikes by Tehran.

"All the signs lead to Iran," he said in a statement. "Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror."


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