[UPDATE IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
According to Yossi Patiel of the Israel Travel Agencies Association, 200 people were in the group targeted in the Burgas Bulgaria Airport. Many of the members of the group are young, signaling there may be children as well.
According to Israel Radio reports quoting Bulgarian media, the death toll has climbed to seven. The number of injured ranges from 18 to dozens according to the various media sources. Israeli Radio adds the explosion came from the luggage compartment of one of the buses but a suicide bomber is not being ruled out at this time.
Israelis who made their way back to the airport terminal remain under lock and key, awaiting the green light from local security officials to come back outside.
MDA Director-General Eli Bin reports that according to the reports received from the Israel Foreign Ministry and other sources there was a terror attack against the Israeli tourists. MDA is working in conjunction with Professor Barabash from Ichilov Hospital, who will be leading a delegation of physicians, paramedics and other medical professionals who hope to assist in treating the wounded. MDA remains in direct contact with the Foreign Ministry Situation Room.
Following the attack, El Al flights to Sofia LY551 (19:15) and its 186 passengers and crew and LLY552 with 141 passengers and crew were delayed.
Ben-Gurion Airport officials announce likely delays in takeoffs to many departures and passengers traveling should check before coming to the airport.
It should be noted today is the 18th anniversary of the major terror attack in Buenos Aires. The AMIA bombing was an attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building occurred in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. 85 people were killed and hundreds injured. It was Argentina’s deadliest bombing ever.
UPDATE 1:00PM EST: Israel Radio quoting Bulgarian TV now states the death toll is seven and there are 25 wounded. Among the wounded are five people in “grave condition”.
There information being provided by members of the vacation group is not really providing too much clarity as there are many contradictory reports.
Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office are pointing the finger of blame in the attack to Iran.
UPDATE 1:35PM EST: Israelis targeted in terror attack were on Air Bulgaria flight 392
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)