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Netanyahu Points At Iran After Explosion In Bulgaria Kills Israelis

One bus was largely destroyed and others nearby were damaged by today's explosion in Bulgaria.
AFP/Getty Images
One bus was largely destroyed and others nearby were damaged by today's explosion in Bulgaria.

Reports vary on the number of deaths in Bulgaria today from an explosion that tore apart a bus carrying Israeli tourists, most of them reportedly young people in the Black Sea city of Burgas on vacation.

The Associated Press says at least four people were killed and more than two dozen wounded. The Jerusalem Post is reporting there were at least seven deaths, citing Bulgaria's Sofia News Agency and Bulgarian National Television. The explosion happened at the Burgas airport.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the AP says, is already calling it "an Iranian terror attack" and promising that "Israel will react strongly to Iran's terror." There's been no response yet from Iranian officials, though the Iranian media are reporting about the explosion.

Update at 3:41 p.m. ET. A Bomb Caused Explosion:

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman tells the Associated Press that a bomb caused the deadly explosion on the bus.

Our colleague Monika Evstatieva has been monitoring Bulgarian National Television, which she tells is reporting that the bus exploded minutes after it was boarded. The Israeli tourists, national TV reports, were supposed to be going to Sunny Beach, a resort on the Black Sea.

Update at 3:19 p.m. ET. Obama Condemns Attack:

The AP just moved this alert:

"Obama condemns `barbaric terrorist attack' on Israelis in Bulgaria."

Mark Knoller, CBS Radio's White House correspondent, reports on Twitter that Obama also reaffirmed the United States' "unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured, and with the people of Israel, Bulgaria, and any other nation whose citizens were harmed in this awful event," Obama said according to Knoller. "These attacks against innocent civilians, including children, are completely outrageous."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.