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FBI notified of fire at Middle Eastern family's restaurant

In this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 photo, Ranya Taha stands behind her restaurant, Petra Mediterranean, which was destroyed in a fire in Wichita, Kan.. Some graffiti with the words "Go Back" were sprayed on a nearby storage unit behind the restaurant. Taha, who has lived in Wichita for 16 years, is from Syria. Federal investigators have been called in following a fire at a Kansas restaurant run by a Middle Eastern family. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP)
November 03, 2017 - 2:58 PM

WICHITA, Kan. - Federal investigators have been called in following a fire at a Kansas restaurant run by a Middle Eastern family.

The Petra Mediterranean Restaurant in Wichita was destroyed Wednesday. The words "Go back" were painted on a nearby storage unit.

The Wichita Eagle reports the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating, and the FBI, which investigates hate crimes, has been notified. The ATF says it is trying to determine if the FBI should be more involved in the investigation.

The restaurant's owners, Ranya Taha and Bashar Mahanweh, say the fire might have been a hate crime.

They also say they're comforted by how the community has rallied around them. They say they've lived in Wichita for years and have always found the community to be loving and supportive.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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