Two men entered a crowded Indian restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, and detonated a homemade bomb last night (May 24), then fled, according to local police.
Three people were taken to a Toronto hospital with critical injuries and are now said to be in stable condition. Fifteen others were treated for superficial wounds.
“There is no indication that this is a terrorist act, no indication that this is a hate crime. At this time, we haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” the local police chief told reporters at a press conference early this morning.
The attack happened at around 10:30 pm, at Bombay Bhel restaurant, where two birthday parties were being held. Images from a photographer on the scene show families, including children, outside the restaurant when ambulances and police cars had arrived.
(Photos by Tony Smyth/CBC)
Just after the explosion, according to the CBC, a local police sergeant said the men who set off the device did not say anything during the attack. “It appears they just went in, dropped off this device, and took off right away,” he said.
Police released an image captured by a surveillance camera depicting two men in dark hoodies with their faces covered.
“Glass was broken in the street. There was a child’s birthday party. Everything was destroyed. Lots of blood in the floor,” said a student from Brazil who was on the patio of a nearby restaurant, describing the aftermath to a CBC reporter. She also reported seeing one man with “glass inside his eyes.”
A resident who lives several blocks from the restaurant compared the blast to a small earthquake; another local resident said he thought a generator had exploded.
Mississauga is Canada’s sixth-largest city, with a population of more than 700,000. Over half of the city’s residents were born outside Canada, and residents speak 200 different languages from over 150 countries, according to remarks made last year by its mayor at a celebration of diversity.
Today, the mayor called the restaurant bombing “heinous.”