Arrests made in Canadian firebombing as G20 looms

Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:46pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police arrested suspects on Friday for the May firebombing of a Royal Bank of Canada branch in Ottawa, a week before leaders from the world's richest nations arrive for summits.

"Arrests have been made today with regards to this matter," an Ottawa police spokesman said, without giving details of those arrested.

Anarchists claimed responsibility for the May 18 attack that left the branch with C$500,000 ($490,000) in damages, including a broken and blackened glass storefront.

The group said in a video that it also planned to be present at the June 26-27 summit of the G20 rich and developing countries in Toronto. It targeted RBC, Canada's largest bank, for sponsoring the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Demonstrators have said Royal Bank is in their sights because it is a major banker for the oil and gas companies exploiting the oil sands of Western Canada.

Thousands of protesters are expected to demonstrate in Toronto in the run-up to the G20 summit, where leaders are due to discuss solutions to the global economic crisis.

A two-day meeting of the G8 industrialized nations will be held in the resort town of Huntsville, Ontario, 215 km (135 miles) north of Toronto, immediately before the G20

Fears of violence prompted a U.S. State Department recommendation on Thursday that Americans avoid downtown Toronto during the summit, as large-scale demonstrations could turn nasty.

Nongovernmental groups have promised peaceful protests, but previous summits have attracted violent groups intent on disrupting the meetings or fighting with police. Organizers admit anarchist groups may join these demonstrations too.