Two people sustained serious burns and 10 others were slightly injured after a suspected Molotov cocktail attack on a restaurant in a Paris suburb.
Ambulance crews rushed to the scene in Aubervilliers, a commune in the Seine-Saint-Denis district, after a petrol bomb was thrown inside Romanian owned “Transilvania” restaurant located at 72 rue Schaeffer.
Rescue crews and police arrived at the scene at around 8:30pm local time after a fire broke out on the premises. About 50 firefighters tackled the blaze which destroyed the restaurant and filled the building with dense smoke, Le Parisien reported.
Three diners were reportedly flown to hospital suffering serious burns after what witnesses described to French media as a petrol bomb being thrown at the restaurant. Six police officers reportedly suffered minor burns as they rushed to assist the evacuation as flames ripped through the five story building in the commune of Aubervilliers, Siene-Saint-Denis.
This smoke has so far caused difficulty for firefighters attempting to assess the full extent of damage, and the number of victims.
Heavily armed police were among the responders, but the attack was soon established not to be terror related. The motive for the attack is yet unclear, but some reports suggest that it could have been a robbery that went wrong while others suggest it wast most probably a turf war to force the ouster of the restaurant’s white owners.
With a population of 77,452 in 2013, around 42.1% are immigrants, mainly muslims from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa.
France remains under a state of emergency following a series of terrorist attacks that have rocked the country in the past two years.