Two arrested after shooting in trendy Indian restaurant

February 16th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by admin  


Birmingham, Feb 16 (IANS) Two men have been arrested after a group of men opened fire at a trendy Indian restaurant here, creating panic among diners, the police said Saturday. However, no one was hurt in the incident. The shooting occurred after a meeting of a group of 10 to 15 people in a private room at Cafe Lazeez in the upmarket Mailbox shopping centre Friday night, the police said.

Two men, aged 25 and 40, were arrested, Chief Superintendent Malcolm Coall of West Midlands Police said, adding he did not believe the incident was gang-related.

Earlier, 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. It is also popular with tourists in a city with a large ethnic Indian population.

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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