By Agence France-Presse
Victims of a May bombing at an Indian restaurant near Toronto alleged in a civil lawsuit on Tuesday that a “turf war between rival business associates” led to the attack.
Six of the 15 victims in the blast are seeking a total of Can$6 million ($4.6 million US) from the owners of the Bombay Bhel restaurant for “severe and permanent injuries,” saying in court documents that the proprietors “knew or ought to have known that it was targeted directly for bombing.”
Their lawyer Darryl Singer told a press conference that the restaurant owners “ought to have been more alert to protecting their patrons.”
He declined, however, to provide details about the source of the information, and the allegations must still be proven in court.
The eatery in a Mississauga, Ontario strip mall that is surrounded by houses, grassy fields and condominium towers under construction was popular among local Indo-Canadians.
In a statement, the plaintiffs said they were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and ended up as “carnage in a turf war between individuals we did not even know.”
The restaurant is scheduled to reopen in a few weeks after extensive repairs. A police investigation is under way.
At 10:30 pm on May 24, two suspects in hoodies walked into the restaurant, where two birthday parties were being celebrated, dropped an improvised explosive device and fled.
The blast was felt more than four kilometers (2.5 miles) away, shattering the front doors of the restaurant and bloodying patrons.
Three of the wounded — a 35-year-old man and two women aged 48 and 62 who are dual Indian-Canadian nationals — were taken to hospital in critical condition but have since improved.
Residents of the Toronto area have been on edge after the incident and two other attacks in Canada’s largest metropolis this year.
In April, a 25-year-old man plowed a rented van into pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10 people. A mass shooting in the city last month also left an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl dead, and wounded 13 others.