Hezbollah denies connection to Burgas bombing

Hezbollah denies connection to Burgas bombing

Lebanese MP says Israel behind terror attack in Bulgaria, which killed five Israelis

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Naim Kassam (photo credit: CC-BY Sebastian Baryli/Wikimedia Commons)
Naim Kassam (photo credit: CC-BY Sebastian Baryli/Wikimedia Commons)

Hezbollah high-up Naim Qassem on Wednesday rejected statements pinning a July 2012 bombing in Bulgaria on his Lebanese organization, saying such accusations were “lies” meant to bolster Israel’s fight against Palestinians around the world.

A Lebanese member of parliament said Israel might be behind the attack.

The Lebanese statements came a day after Bulgaria announced that its investigation had found the Shiite militia responsible for the bombing, which killed five Israeli tourists and a local bus driver.

Israel is “waging an ongoing attack against the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine,” Qassem told students, claiming the Bulgarian report was another part of the “Zionist war.”

Qassem, the deputy of Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah, claimed Israel was running an international campaign meant to make the world afraid of his organization. But Israel, he said, was failing in its attempt “to create an environment” that would prevent Hezbollah from acting.

The campaign was aimed to distract the international community from “Israeli aggressiveness and occupation, so that the world won’t see that the true problem is Israel and not the others,” Qassem stated.

Assam Qanso, a pro-Hezbollah Lebanese parliament member, said the attack in Burgas may have been carried out by Israel in an attempt to frame Hezbollah.

If Hezbollah wanted to avenge the death of its terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was allegedly killed by Israel in 2008, “It would have carried out a larger attack,” Qanso said.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, in the first major announcement in the investigation into the July 18 bombing, said Wednesday that the identity of the people behind the attack was known.

“We have well-grounded reasons to suggest that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah,” Tsvetanov said after a meeting of Bulgaria’s National Security Council.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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