(JERUSALEM) — Even as there is no concrete evidence yet that Iran was behind Wednesday’s bus bombing in Bulgaria that took the lives of five Israeli tourists, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Thursday that the attack was “perpetrated by Hezbollah, Iran’s leading terrorist proxy.”
Netanyahu made his accusation as the five victims and nearly three dozen wounded survivors were returned home by Israel’s air force.
According to the Israeli leader, “This attack was part of a global campaign of terror carried out by Iran and Hezbollah. This terror campaign has reached a dozen countries on five continents.”
Assaults on Israelis that have been blamed on Iran were carried out in Georgia, India and Thailand and each time Israel retaliated.
Netanyahu said that Israeli security and intelligence officials are assisting Bulgarian officials in finding those who plotted the bombing and once the perpetrators are exposed, the prime minister said they would pay a heavy price.
For now, it’s believed that a long-haired man lingering in the airport in Bulgaria prior to the bus explosion was the suicide bomber. He was found with a fake driver’s license from Michigan.
While Iran has denied any involvement in the bombing, accusing Israel of creating an “anti-Iran atmosphere,” Netanyahu stressed, “The world’s leading powers should make it clear that Iran is the country that stands behind this terror campaign. Iran must be exposed by the international community as the premiere terrorist-supporting state that it is.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN
Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN