Obama, Hague express shock at Burgas terror attack

By Jamie Michaels, July 19, 2012
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A rescue worker at the scene in Burgas (Photo: ZAKA)

A rescue worker at the scene in Burgas (Photo: ZAKA)

World leaders have spoken of their horror after Wednesday's terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, which killed at least five Israeli tourists and left 30 injured.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said that he strongly condemned the "barbaric terrorist attack on Israelis in Bulgaria." The White House said in a separate statement that President Obama had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer his condolences and reinforced his support of Israel by pledging "to stand with Israel in this difficult time, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague echoed President Obama's comments, stating: "The full tragedy of the attacks is not yet clear, but I would like to express my condolences to the friends and family of those injured and killed."

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, vowed: "We are in a continued fight against them [terrorist organisations]. We are determined to identify who sent them, who executed (the attack) and to settle the account."

Bulgarian President, Rosen Prevneliev, sought to defend his country. He said: "If we'd received any kind of information about this, it would have been taken very seriously. The fact that such an attack was carried out here and now should not be interpreted as to say that Bulgaria is not a safe country for tourists."

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a statement: "The terrorist attack in Bulgaria is a sobering reminder that the scourge of terrorism continues to threaten all free people.

"My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and to all Israelis who have been the targets of such brutal and cowardly violence for so long. We must stand together in the fight against terrorism, and we must prevail."

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "I was deeply saddened and angered to learn of the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

"The US condemns in the strongest terms this heinous terrorist attack against innocent civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their loved ones. The US stands ready to offer any assistance necessary, and we will work with our partners in Bulgaria, Israel and elsewhere so that the perpetrators can be apprehended swiftly and brought to justice for this appalling crime."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms," while EU Foreign Policy Chief Baroness Ashton said she was "shocked" and "appalled" by the acts.

"The terrorists who planned and carried out this attack must be brought to justice," she added.

Last updated: 11:55am, July 19 2012