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Hold off on labeling 3 attacks as anti-Semitic, Montreal federation says

TORONTO (JTA) — Montreal’s Jewish federation says there is no evidence that firebomb attacks on two kosher restaurants and a private home in a heavily Jewish suburb over three days are anti-Semitic in nature.

“There is absolutely no evidence” that the firebombing of Cafe Shalom on Friday, a private home on Saturday and the Chops Resto Bar early Sunday morning, “while disturbing, to be sure, are in any way motivated by anti-Semitism,” Federation CJA said in a statement.

Approximately 30 people were inside Chops restaurant, in the city’s Snowdon district, at 12:40 a.m. Sunday when a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window, the Montreal Gazette reported. No one was injured.

Witnesses reportedly saw two suspects flee on foot. The device did not ignite.

Chops was hit by a firebomb last October. The resulting fire was extinguished quickly, but water damage from the sprinkler system was extensive.

On Saturday, a device was thrown into a home in the predominantly Jewish suburb of Cote-St-Luc, causing light damage. The Gazette reported that six people, including children aged 7 and 14, were inside the home at 2:15 a.m. when the incident occurred.

On Friday, Cafe Shalom, one block west of Chops, was hit by two incendiary devices, causing light damage, mostly by water from the sprinkler system, police said.

Federation CJA said it “is in constant contact with all levels of law enforcement.”

The agency said it “will refrain from making any specific pronouncements at this time, as we believe this would only serve to undermine ongoing police investigations and handling of this matter.”

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