Toronto: Two unidentified men walked into an Indian restaurant on Thursday in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga and set off a bomb, wounding more than a dozen people, and then fleeing, local police said.
Reacting to the news, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that Indian embassy in Canada is working round the clock after a blast at an Indian restaurant in Ontario province. Swaraj said she was in constant touch with India’s consul general in Toronto and the high commissioner in Canada.
“There is a blast in Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I am in constant touch with our Consul General in Toronto and Indian High Commissioner in Canada. Our missions will work round the clock. The Emergency number is : +1-647-668-4108," she tweeted.
The blast went off in the Bombay Bhel restaurant at about 10:30 pm local time. Fifteen people were taken to hospital, three of them with critical injuries, the Peel Regional Paramedic Service said in a tweet.
The two male suspects fled after detonating their improvised explosive device, Peel Regional Police said in a tweet. No one has claimed responsibility, and the motive for the attack was not known.
Peel Region Sergeant Matt Bertram said two suspects with their faces covered to conceal their identity entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant, and dropped some sort of IED device and fled. “We have no indication to call it a hate crime or any kind of terrorism act," Bertram was quoted as saying by AP.
Peel Region paramedic Joe Korstanje said three people suffered critical injuries and were taken to the hospital while the remaining 12 victims suffered what he described as minor and superficial injuries.
Bertram said they couldn’t say what the device was yet.
“Different callers called in and said it was firecrackers or some said gunshot sort of noises. I don’t think it was an explosion that was rocking anything," he said. “Until we can get in there and analyze the material after the search warrant we won’t be able to say what it was."
Andre Larrivee, who lives in a nearby condo, said he was watching television and heard a loud explosion. “It was really loud," he said, comparing the noise to an electric generator that had exploded at a nearby construction site recently.
Police posted a photograph on Twitter showing two people with dark zip-up hoodies walking into an establishment. One appeared to be carrying an object.
Peel Police said one suspect was in his mid-20s, stocky, and wore dark blue jeans and a dark zip-up hoodie pulled over his head, with black cloth covering his face. The second was thin, and wore faded blue jeans, a grey t-shirt and a dark zip-up hoodie over his head, also with his face covered.
Roads in the area were closed and a large police presence was at the scene, with heavily armed tactical officers arriving as part of the large emergency response, local media reported.
The Bombay Bhel restaurant describes itself online as an authentic, yet casual, Indian dining experience.
The attack in Mississauga comes a month after a driver plowed his white Ryder rental van into a lunch-hour crowd in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 15.
Mississauga is Canada’s sixth-largest city, with a population of 700,000 people, situated on Lake Ontario about 20 miles (32 km) west of Toronto.