CRAIGAVON council member and Upper Bann MLA Sydney Anderson and his wife Brenda were holidaying close to the Bulgarian airport of Burgas on Wednesday when a suicide bomber struck, killing eight Israeli tourists.
Speaking from a holiday resort on the Black Sea coast, Mr Anderson said, “The indigenous population here is horrified by the incident. They are so sorry for the victims and at a loss why international terrorism has come to their country. Many of them speak excellent English and are trying to come up with answers.”
The dead were mainly Israeli students and dozens of others were injured in the attack, with the Israeli authorities blaming Iran.
Mr Anderson said, “With Bulgaria being such a poor country, the people are obviously worried about the effect on their tourism industry, on which this area particularly depends. Many Northern Ireland people, and Portadown residents, come here annually, with the cost of living being so low and the area being so popular.”
Mr and Mrs Anderson arrived in Bulgaria on Sunday night and went through Burgas Airport on the bus provided.
“I suppose nobody understands better than the people of Northern Ireland the effects of these attacks,” he said. “But at least it isn’t a conflict among the people of Bulgaria and it shouldn’t have a long-term effect here.”