Source AP ©

Gaza City: vehicle explodes outside a fancy restaurant

The explosion of the bomb placed under the car parked near a fancy restaurant in Gaza City damaged the vehicle and the facade of the eatery, both police and owner said Wednesday.

No one was hurt and no group claimed responsibility for the blast, Ramzi Shaheen, a police official said. But in recent months, there have been a number of attacks on Internet cafes and record stores by what security officials suspect is a secret "vice squad" of Muslim militants.

In Wednesday's explosion, the vehicle was badly damaged and the glass facade of the restaurant was shattered. There were no injuries.

"We were inside, working in the kitchen, and we suddenly heard an explosion," said Mona Ghalaini, restaurant manager and vehicle owner. She didn't blame anyone, and said her car has been there for at least three hours.

This would be the first attack on a restaurant since late 2005, when the only club for foreigners in Gaza was blown up. It was the only place that served alcoholic beverages in the conservative strip.

A little-known group calling itself the "Swords of Truth" has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in recent months.

Shaheen said an investigation was under way. The attack comes a few days after Palestinian security launched a new plan designed to deal with Gaza's lawlessness and limit use of weapons by private individuals.

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