Shooting in upmarket Indian restaurant in Birmingham

February 16th, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by admin  

Birmingham, Feb 16 (IANS) Armed men opened fire at a trendy Indian restaurant here, creating panic among diners. However, no one was reported hurt, police said Saturday. Police sealed off Cafe Lazeez at the downtown retail centre, The Mailbox, Friday night after several shots were fired and diners fled.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “Police were called to a firearms incident. At this stage it is believed that a number of shots were discharged at the premises. There have been no reports of anyone injured at this stage. Officers are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry.”

Eyewitnesses said three or four men walked into the restaurant just after 9.45 p.m. and fired 10-15 shots before walking out.

“They walked out. Not only did they walk in cool as cucumbers, they walked out cool as cucumbers. But once they were out of the restaurant, they ran like rabbits,” said one man.

“I went over to the window which overlooks the restaurant and could see people clambering over each other like ants, trying to get out,” said another witness, a BBC employee.

“People were fleeing in desperation. It looked like they were running for their lives. Initially I thought an explosive device had been detonated in there because that’s what it felt like.”

The Mailbox is a popular weekend destination as the building contains shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and 144 apartments.

Cafe Lazeez, with branches in London and Birmingham and Indian chefs serving both, is considered among the smarter of the new breed of Indian restaurants in Britain. The Birmingham restaurant has been described by one publication as “… a trendy modern restaurant for the city with an Indian flavour”.

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