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Qatar restaurant explosion ‘kills 12, mostly customers’

View of the skyline of the Qatari capital Doha on March 5, 2013/AFP

View of the skyline of the Qatari capital Doha on March 5, 2013/AFP

DOHA, Feb 27 – A gas tank on the roof of a restaurant exploded in the Qatari capital Thursday, killing 12 people, mostly Asian and Arab customers, and injuring 31 others, the interior ministry said.

The blast tore through the restaurant, which is attached to a mall in Doha and next to a petrol station, according to footage aired on Qatar Television.

“It was a huge explosion,” public security chief Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khleifi told a press conference, adding that the gas tank had caught on fire before it exploded.

Footage showed paramedics carrying a covered body past rubble strewn some 50 metres (yards) from the building, whose roof had caved in.

And pictures posted on Twitter showed several damaged cars.

A witness said police had cordoned off the area, and firefighters were busy clear debris.

In a May 2012 blaze at a kindergarten in a major Doha shopping mall, 19 people died, including 13 children.

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