Photo: BGNES / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
It was from the social media that I learnt about the explosion in Bourgas. "A terrorist attack at Bourgas airport with as apparent target tourists from Israel. There is information about three killed", wrote an e-friend in Facebook. A minute later a comment was added: "Remember, a few days ago, in Cyprus, a Lebanese citizen was caught due to suspicions that he was planning such an attack."
I immediately started searching for information in the Bulgarian electronic media. The first calls from colleagues - journalists from two Greek TV stations, were not late in coming. They were seeking as much information as possible because a little more than an hour after the attack, the international agencies gave only partial information, not very accurate records of witnesses, and especially theories about who might be behind the attack. Of course, the most urgent question was whether the explosion is defined as a terrorist attack, since, at least until yesterday, Bulgaria was not among the countries in which someone had expected to record similar scenes.
The attack at Sarafovo airport immediately became number 1 news in the emissions, and today continues to be one of the leading topics in the Greek media. Extensive coverage is devoted to the until now unseen attack, made on Bulgarian territory.
"A murderous attack on a bus with Israeli citizens in Bulgaria" reads the article of the electronic issue of the central daily newspaper To Vima. It informs about the number of victims and injured tourists, as well as theories, following the explosion, of how the attack was made. The issue cites the statement of Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nikolai Mladenov, that the explosion was caused by a bomb left on the bus with the tourists.
"Netanyahu blames Iran for the attack in Bourgas", writes the newspaper Ta Nea. The author of the article says that the number of victims has reached eight. He cites yesterday's statement by Minister of InteriorTsvetanov, that the bomb had been activated while loading the suitcases in the luggage department on the bus.
In an updated article Ethnos newspaper writes: "A suicide bomber caused the attack on the bus with Israeli tourists, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior."
The paper referred to statements by the Minister that the attacker was killed, and that until now his identity has not been established. "The Bulgarian authorities have found just a false driving license issued in Michigan. The Minister added that the special forces have managed to take DNA samples from the attacker's fingers. "The text states that security cameras at the airport have "caught" the bomber who "looked like everyone else - wearing shorts and carrying a backpack."
The news is leading on Greek televisions too, as the emphasis now falls on the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused Iran of organizing the attack. The reportage also states that the case is being investigated by the Bulgarian authorities in cooperation with experts from the Israeli security forces, Europol and the FBI.