AN MP has spoken of his concern after a firebomb was found for the second time in a fortnight at a Bradford restaurant.
The incendiary device was discovered after a small fire broke out in the basement of Raja’s Appetisers Bar in Leeds Road early yesterday.
Firefighters were alerted to the fire at about 2am.
The finding of device led to police calling in an Army bomb disposal team for the second time in two weeks.
A cordon was put in place and people in nearby homes and businesses were asked to leave.
On March 6, a controlled explosion was carried out by the Army on a “suspect device” found at the same restaurant following an overnight fire.
Bradford East MP Imran Hussain said he had talks with a senior police officer in Bradford yesterday about the incidents.
Last night, Mr Hussain said: “I have been informed that an incendiary device was found on the property, and it appears that this particular property has been the target of a series of co-ordinated acts of criminal damage focusing solely on the business in question.
“I have spoken to a Chief Superintendent in West Yorkshire Police in Bradford and I have been assured that the operation that took place in the early hours of Monday morning was part of an ongoing criminal damage investigation.”
A spokesman for the force said: “The fire service attended to put out a small fire in the basement while officers put road closures in place.
“Police were then informed that what was believed to be a suspect device had been found in the premises.
“Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers were contacted and a number of people were evacuated while a cordon was put in place.
“The device was removed from the premises by EOD officers and made safe.
“Inquiries are at an early stage and police are keeping an open mind as to whether this could be linked to a similar incident on March 6.”
A letter is circulating the area condemning the bomb scare and its impact on people in the area. It states events have been causing panic and people need answers though its origin is unknown.
Mr Hussain said he had no information where the letter had come from and that it had not been issued from his office.
“I would ask the community to keep calm because the police and services will be doing everything they can to deal with the matters.
“It is quite concerning that this is a second incident, in a very short period of time, at the same place.
“I would ask the police to use all possible resources they can to keep the area safe and deal with the perpetrators of any crime.”
Cllr Riaz Ahmed (Lib Dem, Bradford Moor) said: “We don’t know the full story, or what the suspect device was.
“We need to find out exactly what it was and if it was just something and nothing. But if it is something, it is quite frightening to hear about things like this in our ward.
“I would appeal to everyone to be vigilant. If they see anything suspect, even if it seems something small, report it to the police.”
Tariq Hussain, who lives in nearby Bradford Lane, said he and his family were woken by police during the incident and offered the option to leave their home.
“I don’t feel safe around this area. I want to learn who is doing this and what is happening about it.”
Mr Hussain appealed for calm.
He said: “I understand that there are obviously serious concerns amongst the public but I would like to assure people that the police have informed me that there was no risk to the public, and I would like to urge calm so as to allow the police to fully investigate this matter.”
Anyone with information about the attacks should contact Bradford District CID on 101, quoting log 81 of March 20, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.