Bulgaria Bus Bombing Suspect Had Canadian Passport

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By Gopi Chandra kharel | February 6, 2013 5:14 PM EST

A Canadian passport holder is one of the two accused in a 2012 bus bombing case in Bulgaria.

"I can confirm that the individual in question is a dual national who resides in Lebanon," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird at a press conference Tuesday. He stressed that the accused had not lived in Canada for years.

"I couldn't even tell you the last time this person was in Canada," Baird told reporters Tuesday.

This confirmation came just hours after Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov accused Hezbollah, the Lebanon militant group, to be responsible for the July 18 attack.

He announced that one of the suspects, who played a key role in the bomb that killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver last year, was a Canadian passport holder while another had an Australian passport.

"We have well-grounded reasons to suggest that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," the Interior Minister told reporters. "We expect the government of Lebanon to assist in the further investigation."

The minister said that evidence suggested that the men involved in the bombing received instructions and finance from Hezbollah. One of the three attackers died in the same bombing.

"We have followed their entire activities in Australia and Canada, so we have information about financing and their membership in Hezbollah," Tsvetanov told reporters.

Although Tsvetanov did not mention Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Tuesday, "This is yet a further corroboration of what we have already known, that Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons are orchestrating a worldwide campaign of terror that is spanning countries and continents."

Condemning Hezbollah's activities, John O. Brennan, a top national security adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, said in a statement, "We call on our European partners as well as other members of the international community to take proactive action to uncover Hezbollah's infrastructure and disrupt the group's financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks"

On July 18 last year, Bulgaria witnessed a deadly bomb explosion inside a bus that was making rounds to a group of Israeli tourists and taking them to a resort. 

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