Toronto: Canadian police were looking for two suspects who walked into a crowded restaurant and detonated a bomb, injuring 15 people, and said on Friday the incident did not appear to be a hate crime or linked to international terror.
The blast went off in a popular Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga, a Toronto suburb, at about 10.30pm local time on Thursday. Security camera footage showed two men entering the restaurant, one carrying an object.
“There’s no indication this is a terrorist act, no indication this is a hate crime at this time," Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans told reporters on Friday. The explosion caused “a considerable amount of damage," Evans said, adding there were two private parties at the restaurant at the time, with children under 10 in attendance. There were no children among the injured.
The two male suspects fled after detonating their improvised explosive device. No one has claimed responsibility, and the motive for the attack was still not known.
Reacting to the news, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday 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.
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 blast 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.