Explosions, gunfights leave at least 7 dead in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Attackers set off explosions at a Starbucks cafe in a bustling shopping area of downtown Jakarta and waged gun-battles with police Thursday, leaving bodies in the streets as office workers watched in terror from high-rise windows.

See Full Article

There were unconfirmed media reports of explosions in other parts of Jakarta.

Police said four of the attackers and three others were killed in the brazen attacks, which came after several warnings in recent weeks by the police that Islamic militants were planning something big. It was unclear if other perpetrators remained at large.

It was the first major violence in Indonesia's capital since the 2009 bombings of two hotels that killed seven people and injured more than 50. Before that, a bombing in a nightclub on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

No one has claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks, which took place in front of the Sarinah shopping mall on Thamrin Street that prompted a security lockdown in central Jakarta and enhanced checks all over the crowded city of 10 million.

"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.

Tri Seranto, a bank security guard, told The Associated Press he saw at least five attackers, including three who triggered explosions at the Starbucks. It was not immediately clear if they exploded bombs or grenades.

Tri described them as suicide bombers but Gen. Anton Charilyan, a spokesman for the national police, denied they blew themselves up.

He said the attack involved an unknown number of assailants with grenades and guns, at least one on a motorcycle. He said three civilians were killed. Later, Jakarta police spokesman Col. Muhammad Iqbal said four of the attackers were killed, and their bodies retrieved.

Tri said he was out on the street when he saw the three men entering Starbucks. He said the other two attackers, carrying handguns, entered a police post from where he heard gunfire.

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

After the first explosions a gun-battle broke out between the attackers and anti-terror police squads, and gunfire could be heard more than 1 1/2 hours later.

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.

The area 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."

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, 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.

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

  • South Korea's ex-president questioned at court as prosecutors push for arrest

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye was being questioned Thursday by a court that will decide if she should be arrested over corruption allegations that have already toppled her from power. Source
  • Ivanka Trump to become unpaid White House employee [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump is officially joining her father’s administration as an unpaid employee, after her plans to serve in a more informal capacity were questioned by ethics experts. The first daughter announced Wednesday that she will serve as an unpaid employee in the White House, saying she had “heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity. Source
  • North Carolina lawmakers announce deal to end 'bathroom bill' standoff

    World News CTV News
    RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina Republican lawmakers said Wednesday night that they have an agreement with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill." GOP leaders announced the new legislation would be debated and voted on Thursday. Source
  • 13 killed after bus, truck collide in Texas [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    UVALDE, Texas — A small shuttle bus carrying Texas church members home from a retreat collided head-on with a pickup truck, killing 13 people and injuring two others Wednesday on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, officials said. Source
  • 13 killed in bus-truck collision in southwestern Texas

    World News CBC News
    A small shuttle bus carrying Texas church members home from a retreat collided head-on with a pickup truck, killing 13 people Wednesday on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, officials said. All of the victims who died were senior adults who attended First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas. Source
  • Alberta grey jay web cam may be a first, thrilling online fans

    Canada News CBC News
    A recently installed web cam in central Alberta may be the first to capture the breeding behaviour of Canada's unofficial national bird, the grey jay, and online fans around the world are tuning in. "I was extremely excited," biologist Myrna Pearman with the Ellis Bird Farm told The Homestretch, when she learned there was a fresh grey jay nest near a home in Caroline, Alta. Source
  • Inquest jury to begin deliberations into Regina woman's laundry-chute death

    Canada News CBC News
    The lawyer representing the family of Nadine Machiskinic said the coroner's inquest established at least a couple key facts. The 29-year-old mother of four fell 10 storeys down a Regina hotel laundry chute to her death. Source
  • Toronto man's home trashed, belongings stolen after Airbnb rental

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto man who rented his apartment to a stranger using the website Airbnb says he returned home to find it trashed and $21,000 worth of possessions missing. Mathew Lyn says the thieves stole camera equipment, a drone, clothes, shoes -- even his luggage. Source
  • Mexican judge suspended amid outrage over sexual assault ruling

    World News CBC News
    Prosecutors in Mexico are appealing a court ruling that dismissed sex crime charges because there was no proof the suspect acted "with lascivious intent," and judicial authorities announced Wednesday that the judge in the case had been suspended. Source
  • Kenn Borek Air crews honoured with Smithsonian award for perilous South Pole rescue mission

    Canada News CBC News
    A 10-hour mission from Calgary to the South Pole to rescue two sick workers had Calgary-based air crews receiving a Smithsonian award in Washington on Wednesday night. Last June, two Twin Otter Kenn Borek Air aircraft flew from Calgary to Chile to Rothera, Antarctica. Source