At least four killed after explosions rock downtown Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia - At least three suicide bombers exploded themselves in a Starbucks cafe in downtown Jakarta on Thursday while two gunmen attacked a police post nearby, a witness told The Associated Press.

See Full Article

TVOne, a local television network, reported three other explosions in other parts of the city.

At least one policeman was killed in addition to the bombers. An Associated Press photographer saw three bodies behind police lines, lying on a sidewalk. Their identities were unclear.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but suspicion is likely to fall on Islamic militant groups, which have carried out several attacks in the past across Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

It would be the first major attack in the capital Jakarta since the bombings of two hotels in 2009.

"This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, said in statement on television. Jokowi who is on a working visit in West Java town of Cirebon, said he is returning to Jakarta immediately.

"The state, the nation and the people should not be afraid of, and lose to, such terror acts," he said.

The first explosion apparently triggered a gun-battle between the attackers and anti-terror police squads, and gunfire could be heard more than 1 1/2 hours later.

Tri Seranto, a bank security guard, told The Associated Press he saw at least five attackers, including three suicide bombers who exploded themselves in the Starbucks.

He said he was out on the street when he saw the three men entering Starbucks and saw them blowing themselves up one by one. He said the other two attackers, carrying handguns, entered a police post from where he heard gunfire. He said he later saw one policeman dead and three seriously wounded.

He said he was not injured in the explosions as he was a little distance away, but close enough to witness the attack at 10.30 a.m. (0230 GMT).

He said the two gunmen ran away with police chasing them.

About two hours later, another explosion was heard from a cafe near the Starbucks, about five minutes after 25 anti-terror policemen entered it. It was not clear if the explosion was a controlled detonation or a bomb.

Gunshots were heard after the midmorning explosion in front of the Sarinah shopping mall and a police station. The area also has many luxury hotels, and offices and embassies, including the French. The other set of explosions were in neighbourhoods where the embassies of Turkey and Pakistan are located.

Tweets from the account of Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, described a bomb and "serious" exchanges of gunfire on the street outside his Jakarta office. "Didn't experience this in 3.5 years in #Pakistan," he wrote.

"A massive #bomb went off in front of our new #Indonesia office as ?collie-brown & I exit car. Chaos & we're going into lock-down," he wrote. And three minutes later: "Apparent #suicidebomber literally 100m from the office and my hotel. Now gunfire."

About 30 minutes after his first post about the bombing, he posted that things were "quiet. Not comfortable quiet."

Indonesia has been a victim of several bombing attacks in the past, claimed by Islamic militant groups.

Last month, anti-terror police arrested nine men and said the group had wanted to "perform a 'concert' to attract international news coverage of their existence here." Police cited a document seized from the group that described the planned attacks as a "concert."

The country has been on high alert after authorities said they had foiled a plot by Islamic militants to attack government officials, foreigners and others. About 150,000 police officers and soldiers were deployed during New Year's Eve to guard churches, airports and other public places.

More than 9,000 police were also deployed in Bali, the site of Indonesia's deadliest terror attack, which killed 202 people in 2002.

National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Anton Charliyan said security is focused on anticipating attacks in vulnerable regions, including Jakarta.

On Tuesday, the jailed radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir appealed to an Indonesia court to have his conviction for funding a terror training camp overturned, arguing that his support for the camp was an act of worship.

The 77-year-old leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah militant network filed a judicial review of his 2011 conviction, when he was sentenced to 15 years in jail for setting up the camp in Aceh province. A higher court later cut the sentence to nine years.

Indonesia has suffered a spate of deadly attacks by the Jemaah Islamiyah network in the past. But strikes in recent years have been smaller and less deadly, and have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Islamic State recaptures historic Palmyra in Syria

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Islamic State militants seized the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra on Sunday from government troops despite a wave of Russian airstrikes, a major advance after a year of setbacks in Syria and neighbouring Iraq. Source
  • No winner in $5M Lotto 649 draw

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- No winning ticket was sold for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw. However, the $1 million guaranteed prize was claimed by a ticket purchased in the Prairies. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Dec. Source
  • Dozens killed in Nigerian church collapse

    World News CBC News
    Dozens of people were killed by the collapse of a church in southeastern Nigeria, a photojournalist who visited the town morgue said on Sunday, a day after the incident. "Dead bodies are stacked on top of each other because there is no space," he said. Source
  • Bombing at Coptic Christian cathedral kills 25 in Egypt

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- A bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 49 during Sunday mass, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. Source
  • Bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral kills 25

    World News CBC News
    A bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 35 on Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. The attack came two days after a bomb elsewhere in Cairo killed six policemen, an assault claimed by a shadowy group that authorities say is linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Source
  • 39 dead as truck rams into vehicles on Kenya road

    World News CBC News
    A runaway truck carrying volatile gas slammed into other vehicles and burst into flames on a major road in Kenya, killing at least 39 people and injuring 10, officials said early Sunday. The truck lost control while going downhill on the road from the capital, Nairobi, to Naivasha late Saturday, said Mwachi Pius Masai, the deputy director and communications officer for the National Disaster Management Unit. Source
  • ISIS captures Palmyra castle overlooking ancient Syrian city

    World News CBC News
    Fighters with the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have captured Palmyra castle overlooking the ancient city in eastern Syria, a news agency affiliated to the militants said on Sunday.CBC goes to the front lines in the battle for AleppoAleppo exodus grows as thousands more leaveSyria, Russia pound rebel-held Aleppo but advances haltHeavy Russian air strikes had pushed back the militants from inside the city hours after they advanced on it in recent days in a surprise multi-pronged…
  • Day of mourning in Turkey after blasts targeting police kill 38

    World News CBC News
    Turkey declared a national day of mourning Sunday after twin blasts in Istanbul killed 38 people and wounded 155 others near a soccer stadium — the latest large-scale assault to traumatize a nation confronting an array of security threats. Source
  • A nasty Hungarian national mood rejects immigrants — and journalists

    World News CBC News
    The Goy Bikers Association of Budapest. Translation: The Non-Jewish Bikers Association of Budapest. We went looking for them as part of a report on the proliferation of extreme-right, xenophobic and anti-Semitic groups in Hungary, clothing themselves as nationalist defenders of the land. Source
  • 'We must kill the black snake': Prophecy and prayer motivate Standing Rock movement

    World News CBC News
    There is an ancient Lakota prophecy about a black snake that would slither across the land, desecrating the sacred sites and poisoning the water before destroying the Earth. For many Indigenous people gathered near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, that snake has a name — the Dakota Access pipeline. Source