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Israelis bury 5 victims of Bulgaria attack

By Aron Heller

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, July 21 2012 12:21 a.m. MDT

People carry the body of Itzik Kolengi, 28, who was killed and his wife injured in a suicide bombing in Bulgaria Wednesday in Petah Tikva, Israel, Friday, July 20, 2012. Israeli and American officials are blaming the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for the bombing that killed five Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian bus driver and the bomber in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, a popular destination for Israeli tourists. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Devastated mourners grasped at dirt atop fresh graves and screamed in agony Friday as they buried the five Israeli victims of a bombing in Bulgaria — an attack that Israel has blamed on Iran and its proxy group Hezbollah.

Two days after the deadly blast in a popular vacation spot, investigators in Bulgaria and in several other countries were still struggling to confirm the attacker's identity.

Bulgarian prosecutors said the attacker had short hair, not the long hair seen in the security video footage captured of him at the airport. A witness said he appeared to be wearing a wig.

The victims' coffins were received early Friday in a military ceremony at Israel's international airport. Seventeen Israelis remain in hospitals.

Childhood friends Itzik Kolengi, 28, and Amir Menashe, 27, were buried in the central Israeli town of Petah Tikva.

Kolengi's wife, Gilat, was wounded in the attack and remains hospitalized. The couple has an infant daughter.

"I promise you that the family and I will watch forever over your wife, Gilat, and your amazing daughter, Noya, who looks exactly like you, and we'll raise her just as you would have wanted," Kolangi's brother David said during his eulogy.

Menashe's wife, who was also wounded in the attack, attended the funeral in a wheelchair. They too have an infant son.

Nearby, in Rishon Lezion, hundreds of mourners joined the family of Cochava Shriki, a 42-year-old woman who had recently become pregnant after years of fertility treatments.

In the northern Israeli town of Acre, Maor Harush, 26, and his close friend Elior Price, 24, were laid to rest. A third friend remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Israeli and American officials have blamed the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for Wednesday's bombing.

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