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Bloomberg Calls Bombing Of Israelis Aboard Bulgaria Bus ‘A Tragedy’

A picture shows smoke rising over Bourgas airport after an attack on a bus packed with Israelis in Bulgaria on July 18, 2012. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/GettyImages)

A picture shows smoke rising over Bourgas airport after an attack on a bus packed with Israelis in Bulgaria on July 18, 2012. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NYPD is stepping up security patrols in Jewish neighborhoods after a deadly bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was personally briefed by the Israeli ambassador about Wednesday’s bombing and called the deadly attack “a tragedy.”

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

“It’s just a reminder of two things,” Bloomberg said. “One, it’s a great tragedy. Families, people killed, kids and two, we live in a dangerous world.”

The attack occurred shortly after the Israelis boarded a bus outside the airport in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, a popular destination for Israeli tourists, particularly for high school graduates before they are drafted into military service.

The suspected suicide bomber was seen prior to the attack on airport surveillance video, Bulgarian officials said Thursday. He was dressed as a tourist himself, wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, plaid shorts and sneakers with short white socks. He carried a large backpack with wheels and had a fake Michigan driver’s license, authorities said.

Officials said the bomb detonated in the luggage compartment of the bus as the attacker mingled among his victims. Seven people — five Israelis, the Bulgarian driver and the bomber — died in the blast.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the attack on Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim guerrilla group, and threatened retaliation.

City Comptroller John Liu also issued a statement, calling the attack “vicious.”

“I and all New Yorkers vehemently condemn the vicious terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The residents of this City have a special relationship and deep ties with Israel, where many of our family members and friends reside. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed and injured,” he said. “In this City, which has experienced the pain of terrorism first-hand, we know well that attacks against innocent civilians are attacks against all law-abiding nations. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

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