Molotov explosive kills at least 16 at Cairo restaurant
At least 16 people were killed and six wounded in an attack on a Cairo restaurant and nightclub in the early hours of Friday, police said.
According to initial local media reports, unidentified men threw a molotov cocktail at the al-Sayad restaurant, located in the Agouza neighbourhood of the Egyptian capital.
A security source told Reuters that the attacker was an employee who had been fired from the restaurant.
|While there was no indication of any terrorist link, the arson comes with Egyptian security forces on heightened alert following a series of attacks, including in Cairo|
However, Egyptian state-media said the restaurant and nightclub had been attacked by "a number of masked men".
A thick cloud of smoke was seen billowing from the club after the attack. Firefighters extinguished the blaze before it could spread to neighbouring buildings.
Forensic investigators later inspected the charred entrance, taking photographs and collecting evidence in plastic bags.
Police imposed a security cordon outside as a crowd of onlookers gathered.
Initial security sources indicate that the perpetrators have been identified.
Sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the perpetrators were likely to have had criminal motives.
The interior ministry issued a statement shortly after the attack, confirming that it was carried out in retaliation against restaurant staff following earlier disputes.
"The preliminary investigation conducted by the security services found that there was a dispute between employees and other people who then launched fire bombs at the nightclub in revenge," the ministry said.
Security sources told Egyptian dialy Youm 7 that two young men who were refused entry to the nightclub on Thursday night returned later on a motorbike and threw the firebomb inside.
The sources also confirmed that all victims were restaurant staff.
The nightclub had only one exit, which may have prevented some of the patrons from escaping.
A manager at the club told AFP that the wooden ceiling had caught fire and collapsed.
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While there was no indication of any terrorist link, the arson comes with Egyptian security forces on heightened alert following a series of attacks, including in Cairo.
Islamist militants have killed scores of policemen and soldiers, mostly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Attacks have also targeted policemen and government buildings in the capital, several of them claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate.
They often claim that their attacks are in retaliation for the deaths of hundreds of pro-Islamists in a police crackdown, and the detention of thousands.
The militants have also claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger plane after it left the south Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board.
They claimed they had smuggled a small bomb on board the plane, in revenge for Russian air strikes in Syria.