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Iran denies involvement in Bulgaria bomb attack

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 8 Feb 2013 10:39 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Israel blamed Hezbollah, Iran for bombing Israeli tourists

* EU considering classifying Hezbollah as terrorist group

* Hezbollah has also denied involvement in attack (Adds detail on bombing)

SOFIA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Iran played no part in the bombing of a bus last year that killed Israeli tourists, its ambassador to Bulgaria said on Friday, rejecting Israeli charges that it was involved in the attack.

Bulgaria has accused the Iranian-backed Hezbollah of carrying out the July attack, a charge the Lebanese Shi'ite Islamist militia dismissed as part of a smear campaign by its arch foe Israel.

"This (the attack) has nothing to do with Iran," Gholamreza Bageri told reporters. "We are against any form of terrorism and strongly condemn such actions."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week accused Hezbollah and Iran of waging a "global terror campaign" after the attack in Burgas, which killed five Israeli tourists, their Bulgarian driver and the bomber.

Given the link to an attack on European Union soil, Brussels is considering adding Hezbollah - which is part of the Lebanese government and waged a brief war with Israel in 2006 - to its list of terrorist organisations.

The United States already lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group and U.S. and Israeli authorities want the European Union to take a similar position, which would mean Brussels could act to freeze its assets in Europe. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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