Two of the suspects in a deadly July attack on a bus filled with Israeli tourists are believed to have been part of "the militant wing of Hezbollah," the Bulgarian interior minister said Tuesday, according to news reports.
Hezbollah also appears to have financed the attack last summer in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, Tsvetan Tsvetanov told reporters.
The announcement is the first major revelation in the case aired by Bulgarian investigators since the bombing killed five Israelis, their Bulgarian driver and the suspected bomber. Hezbollah denied any connection to the attack when it occurred.
The reported ties between the Bulgaria attack and Hezbollah are expected to put new pressure on the European Union to change its stand on the Lebanon-based militant group and political party. The EU does not consider Hezbollah a terrorist group; the U.S. and Israel do.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long blamed Hezbollah and its Iranian backers for the attack, said in a statement Tuesday that the Bulgarian findings show that "Hezbollah was directly responsible for the atrocity." He urged the European Union to "draw the necessary conclusions as to the true character of Hezbollah."