The coffin of the five Israelis who were killed during the terror attack on a tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria
The coffin of the five Israelis who were killed during the terror attack on a tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria after their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on July 20. An autopsy on a suicide bomber who killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver in Bulgaria show he was different from an "Arab-looking" suspect cited by witnesses, a doctor has said. © Jack Guez - AFP/File
The coffin of the five Israelis who were killed during the terror attack on a tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria
Last updated: July 22, 2012

Hunt for accomplice after Bulgaria bomber autopsy

The possibility that the suicide bomber who blew himself up on a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria had an accomplice was gaining ground on Sunday after an autopsy on the attacker.

Galina Mileva, who was involved in the post-mortem examination, told BNT television that the appearance of the bomber was markedly different from the "Arab-looking" suspect spoken of by witnesses after Wednesday's attack.

The man "had a white face, light eyes, and very thick brown hair. The facial bones were shattered in the explosion," Mileva said.

Bulgarian police along with the CIA, FBI and Interpol are struggling to identify the bomber who carried out the attack on the bus at the Black Sea airport of Burgas, killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver.

Israel has blamed Iran and its "terrorist proxy", Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, but Tehran has denied any involvement in what was the first attack of its kind in Bulgaria.

The Pressa newspaper and the bTV channel said the bomber could have had an accomplice who detonated the explosives by cellphone.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the bomber was a 36-year-old who had been in Bulgaria for at least four days.

A man and his wife who run a car rental service said they recognised the suspect who came to hire a vehicle. They said he had a wad of 500-euro bills and refused to rent him a car as his US driving licence appeared to be fake.

Burgas prosecutor Kalina Tchapkanova quoted witnesses as saying the man "spoke English with a slight accent" and appeared to be Arab.

The car rental service owner's wife Afrodita Petrova said she was sure he was of Arab origin and had a shaven head.

But Burgas journalist Katia Kassabova of the website which carried the first images of the attack said "the bomber is not the man who tried to rent the car. He could be an accomplice.

"The man who died had blue eyes while the man spotted in the car rental agency had brown eyes," she said.

Kassabova said the bomber's hair was straight and black but claimed he wore a wig that was found 25 metres from the bus.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was the deadliest on Israelis abroad since 2004 and came on the 18th anniversary of an attack on a Jewish community centre in Argentina that killed 85 people, also blamed on Iran.

Israel, in blaming Iran and Hezbollah for Wednesday's bombing, said it fitted a pattern of other attacks or attempted attacks on Israelis including in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya and Cyprus.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denied any involvement, saying Tehran condemned "all terrorists attacks".

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