Car bomb found in main Bulgarian airport

Van loaded with explosive device found in international airport at capital city of Sofia, police hold controlled detonation.

Ari Yashar , | updated: 4:24 PM

Bulgarian police (illustration)
Bulgarian police (illustration)
Meir Sela

A van loaded with an explosive and parked outside the international airport of Bulgaria's capital city Sofia was discovered on Tuesday by authorities, who narrowly prevented an apparent disaster.

"An explosive device had been found in the van," announced airport spokesperson Daniela Veleva, who noted police are working to disarm the explosive.

Police later conducted a controlled detonation to eliminate the threat. An Interior Ministry spokesperson revealed a trained police dog had first caught the suspicious bags inside the van during a routine check.

A section of Terminal 1 in the airport was evacuated and cordoned off earlier, after suspicious bags that turned out to contain the bomb were spotted in a van parked just outside the major airport.

Bulgaria's interior ministry announced the evacuation of Terminal 1 shortly before the suspicions were confirmed and it was released that the bags held an explosive.

The Sofia Airport press office said that the suspicious vehicle was a white minibus with a Belgian license plate, reports Nova TV.

The van reportedly was parked by a non-Bulgarian national around 1 a.m. local time, and the suspect took off in a 5 a.m. flight according to police, leaving the vehicle in front of Terminal 1.

The potential Belgian connection seen in the license plate is noteworthy, given that the lethal Paris attacks conducted by Islamic State (ISIS) last month, which left 130 murdered, were conducted by Muslim terrorists headquartered in Brussels.

The terror cell used vehicles from Belgium in the attack as well.