- Category: Canada News
- Published Thursday, January 14, 2016
- CTV News
Global Affairs Canada is investigating reports that a Canadian is among those who were killed in a brazen terror attack in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson from the department said the Canadian government is working with Indonesian authorities to confirm the identity of the victim.
Explosions were set off at a Starbucks cafe in a busy shopping area, leading to a prolonged gun battle between gunmen and police Thursday that lasted for hours and left bodies in the streets.
Police say five attackers and two civilians were killed. At least 10 others were injured. It was unclear if any perpetrators remained at large.
Earlier Thursday, Indonesian cabinet secretary Pramono Anung said a Canadian civilian was among the seven dead.
Indonesia has been on edge for weeks following warnings that Islamic militants were planning something big. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Eliza Harvey, a reporter with Australia’s ABC News says Jakarta’s police chief says it is believed the South-East Asia arm of ISIS network is responsible for attacks.
Following the attack, Ottawa updated its travel advisory for Indonesia, warning Canadians that they should exercise a “high degree of caution” there due to a “continuing threat of terrorist attacks” in the country.
Attack ripped through central business district
Jeremy Douglas, the UN Regional Representative for Southeast Asia, was travelling to a work meeting in a car Thursday when the first bomb went off.
"I was about 500 metres away," he told CTV's Canada AM from Jakarta. "We pulled to the front of the building, and as I got out the door, the second suicide bomber detonated. That was about 100 metres away.
"You could really feel it at that point … it was chaotic, so we rushed into the building."
Douglas said he heard a total of six explosions, and watched from his office as a gunfight unfolded in the streets below.
"We were watching it from upstairs… it was quite a scene," he said.
Douglas said the attack took place in the bustling central business district of Jakarta, where there are several international hotels, shopping malls and coffee shops.
He said he works out of Bangkok, but was in Jakarta to help craft a counter-terrorism strategy with government officials. "I just happened to be here at the wrong time," he said.
He said while Indonesia is generally a "very safe"country, there is an ever-present background threat due to groups that are sympathetic to al Qaeda and ISIS.
Indonesian police spokesman: two foreigners died in today's #JakartaBlasts. One Dutch person, one Candian.— Eliza Harvey (@harvey_eliza) January 14, 2016