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Suicide bombers kill 8, wound 50 in Jakarta hotels

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Jakarta's police chief said Friday that several suspects in the bombing of the Marriott were staying at the hotel. Maj Gen Wahyono said the suspects stayed on the 18th floor of the hotel where un-detonated explosives were found after Friday's twin explosions at the J.W. Marriott and neighboring Ritz-Carlton.

Wahyono told reporters, "There were several perpetrators. They were disguised as guests and stayed in room 1808."

He said the attacks killed 8 and wounded 50, including 18 foreigners. Earlier the security minister said nine people died, but that number was later revised by authorities.

It was the first major terror strike in Indonesia since three suicide bombers hit restaurants on the resort island of Bali nearly four years ago.

The blasts at the hotels, located side-by-side in an upscale business district in the capital, blew out windows and scattered debris and glass across the street, kicking up a thick plume of smoke. Facades of both hotels were reduced to twisted metal. An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw bloodied bodies being shuttled away in police trucks.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the attack was carried out by a "terrorist group" and vowed to arrest the perpetrators. He said it was too early to say if the Southeast Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for past attacks in Indonesia, including a 2003 bombing at the Marriott, was responsible.

"Those who carried out this attack and those who planned it will be arrested and tried according to the law," a somber-looking Yudhoyono told a news conference.

The Marriott was hit first, followed by the blast at the Ritz two minutes later. The attacks came just two weeks after presidential vote expected to re-elect Yudhoyono who has been credited with stabilizing a nation previously wracked by militancy.

Theo Sambuaga, chairman of the parliamentary security commission, said "there are indications of suicide bombs" at the two hotels. "That is being investigated."

Security Minister Widodo Adi Sucipto told reporters at the scene the hotel blasts happened at 7:45 a.m. and 7:47 a.m. and that "high explosives were used." He said at least nine people were killed and 50 wounded.

Alex Asmasubrata, who was jogging nearby, said he walked into the Marriott before emergency services arrived and "there were bodies on the ground, one of them had no stomach," he said. "It was terrible."

Anti-terror forces with automatic weapons were rushed to the site, and authorities blocked access to the hotels in a district also home to foreign embassies.

"This destroys our conducive situation," Sucipto said, referring to the nearly four years since a major terrorist attack in Indonesia — a triple suicide bombing at restaurants at the resort island of Bali that killed 20 people.

The security minister and police said a New Zealander was among those killed, and that 17 other foreigners were among the wounded, including nationals from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea the U.S. and Britain.

The dead New Zealander was identified by his employer as Timothy David Mackay, 62, who worked for cement products manufacturer PT Holcim Indonesia. He was reportedly attending a business meeting at the Marriott Hotel when the explosions occurred.

Noel Clay, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Washington, said that several American citizens were among the injured.

Earlier, South Jakarta police Col Firman Bundi said that four foreigners were killed, but gave no details.

Manchester United football team canceled a planned visit to Indonesia. The team had been scheduled to stay at the Ritz on Saturday and Sunday nights for a friendly match against the Indonesian All Stars, the Indonesian Football association said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna said the likely perpetrators were from the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah.

"The only group with the intention and capability to mount attacks upon Western targets in Jemaah Islamiyah. I have no doubt Jemaah Islamiyah was responsible for this attack," he said.

There has been a massive crackdown in recent years by anti-terror officials in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 235 million, but Gunaratna said the group was "still a very capable terrorist organization."

Police have detained most of the key figures in the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah, and rounded up hundreds of other sympathizers and lesser figures.

But Gunaratna said that radical ideologues sympathetic to JI were still able to preach extremism in Indonesia, helping provide an infrastructure that could support terrorism.

Jakarta chief of police operations, Arief Wahyunadi, said the blasts were in the Ritz-Carlton's Airlangga restaurant and in the basement of the Marriott. He gave no details on what kind of bombs were used and whether they were suicide attacks.

Government spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told CNN the scene of the blasts were "eerie," when he arrived.

"The bodies I saw, some were being collected, some were on the floor," he said. "What we know, of course, is this was a coordinated attack."

When asked if Jemaah Islamiyah was behind the attack, Djalal said: "We always knew there are terrorists out there. But we've had a number of very good successes; no major attacks since the Bali bombings."

He was referring to the October 2002 bombings of two Bali nightclubs that killed some 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

"This is a blow to us," Djalal said, but said the government would find those behind the attacks.

"The president has built his reputation on ... anti-terrorism policies," he said. "Make no mistake, he will hunt whoever is behind this."

Because of past attacks, most major hotels in Jakarta take security precautions, such as checking incoming vehicles and requiring visitors to pass through metal detectors. Still, international hotels make attractive targets, since the nature of their business requires them to be relatively open and accessible.

On Friday, Australia and New Zealand updated their travel advisories, which had already warned against unnecessary travel to Indonesia because of the risk of terrorism.

"We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia due to the very high threat of terrorist attack," the Australian Foreign Ministry said on its Web site. Those in Indonesia were warned to exercise "extreme caution."

New Zealand urged its citizens in Indonesia to keep a low profile.

Britain also updated its travel warning, though it did not raise its alert level.

© Wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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It's fascinating, smithinjapan / madverts, that with all the immense weight of evidence of 'Islamic terruh' (you're disgustingly disrespectful to the victims of these atrocities) you still believe there's no religious motive behind them. Even when the terroritsts themselves are saying they do if for Islam. Are they lying? Are they stupid? No- the reason is that you're in complete denial, and can't face up to an unpleasant truth.

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Ah, Sorry about that DenDon, I was mistaking you for DenDen. Aside from that, its still suspected that Jamaah Islamiyah was behind this recent attack. This pattern is getting old.

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They hid the bomb in the suitcase." I wonder if that suitcase was one of those switched at the airport which is a quite common item there.

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Being fed misinformation again by your almighty government controlled media?

nah, read it on JT. admire your attempts at psychic powers though.

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I just saw the footage of explosion on HLN this afternoon. An unknown hotel guest was walking in the hallway dragging the suitcase, and then it suddenly went ca-boom!!! They hid the bomb in the suitcase. Really scary. . .

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HonestDictator: Chill out, my friend. Dendon is just pointing out to sarge that there are terrorist attacks happening all over the world, and in all different forms. sarge was on here earlier today saying that no terrorist attacks had happened in the US (at all) since 9/11 (thanking bush and cheney for it), when a poster named goodDonkey came on and pointed out all sorts of terrorist incidents, some which included terrorists setting off bombs or targeted people in the US, to which sarge said along the lines of it was a 'list of crimes, not terrorism'. Hence, DenDon is pointing out sarge's hypocrisy -- he's not saying this is not the work of terrorists. On the contrary, according to sarge's logic, as DenDon pointed out, this is but a mere crime.

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Sorry Den, haven't heard anything about bombs going off in the US often if at all. Being fed misinformation again by your almighty government controlled media?

As for a terrorist act, why has this been directed at foriegn tourists instead of local Indonesian government? Nothing "jihadist" about that right?

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glad you see it now, well done! planting bombs with the intention to kill innocents is a terrorist act. happens in america too, quite often.

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DenDon - It's a terrorist attack - in Indonesia.

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is this a terrorist attack sarge? or is it just a crime?

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Suicide bomber ( upon death ): Where are my 72 virgins?

The Devil: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Madverts: Bang on. Good old Willi is just here, and hasn't been for a while (with the lack of 'Islamic terruh!'), to show us the face of those he purports to hate -- ie., bigots who can only subscribe to their specific ideologies and attack those who do not. In this case, the guy pretends that Muslims are the world's biggest problem, etc. etc., not realizing that his attitude isn't too terribly different. Of course he won't admit to it, will resist it, and I will be labeled this and that for pointing it out -- such is the nature of hypocrisy and bigotry.

What happened here is extremely sad. AeJalove seems to have a better grasp about what's happening than anyone else on here, and again leave it to willi to think he actually knows what's going on in everyone's mind and what's REALLY happening.

I hope they get to the bottom of this. And of course if it IS election related willi will simply hide his head and pop up the next time a bombing takes place and he thinks it's the "world's curse" at work.

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Madverts:

How many wrong statements can you shove into one sentence?

There is no "good hard thumping" in Europe and Pakistan, and there is nothing conspiratorial about the jihadist effort to bring the world under Shariah. And jihadist violence in Indonesia is not new, either. This latest bombings just continues a long string of similar jihadist acts.

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Ah well willi, despite your conspiracy theories in Europe and Pakistan getting a good hard thumping by the old enemy, Reality, recently - I see the nutters have struck again elsewhere to help you up on your JT soap-box to rant about Islam!

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AeJalLove:

" this bomb was to disrupt the general election and may not be a religious attack... "

Whatever it takes to find excuses, right? Maybe the Bali disco bombings and the previous bombings against international hotels in Jakarta were also to "disrupt an election", lol.

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this is getting out of line... get your facts straight people.. if you followed the news you'll know that the police found evidence that suggests this bomb was to disrupt the general election and may not be a religious attack... please notice : "suggests" and "may not" they are still investigating on the motive so please, whatever the results, could we just try to follow up on the news for FACTS instead of pointing our paranoid fingers to other people??

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pawatan:

" Don't you realize these sorts of attacks are carried out by the US with the specific intent to discredit peaceful Muslims to support their Zionist allies? (for the slow, yes, that's sarcasm) "

LOL, you had me there for a moment, because that is precisely what islamist commentators will say, and what the leftists in the West all too happily believe.

Too close to reality as sarcasm goes...

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Gombei424:

" Well, I think we need to admit that ALL religions have there extremists and that this could have happened anywhere. "

Nope, we "need" not "admit" any such thing. Not every religion has fundamentalists who preach jihad against the unbelievers and tell the believers that they´ll go to heaven and get 72 virgins for dying as a martyr.

If you look at the long string of terrorist acts around the world, you will be hard pressed to show us any Bahaii, Buddhist, or Zoroastrian extremists who blow up air planes, embassies or hotels. What you will find is that one particular religion stands out here.

I would advise to open your eyes.

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Well, I think we need to admit that ALL religions have there extremists and that this could have happened anywhere.<<< I beg to differ. How many times do we read of Christians doing this kind of thing? Try never.

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Well, I think we need to admit that ALL religions have there extremists and that this could have happened anywhere.I have never been to Indonesia but as I have said many many times sometimes it's people who live outside of a country that can understand it the best.In this case I feel that the bombers were driven to take action,they were angered by another country's foreign policy.Yes, the Jemaah Islamiyah is a terrorist group but maybe if bush had gone after them after the Bali niteclub bombing instead of bunting on third down,skating around the basepath the complete wrong way and taking us into Iraq,well,maybe 9 more people would be alive in Indonesia,instead of dead.

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This terrorist attack against the Marriot hotel will really help boost the loving and caring image for Muslims all around the world.

Don't you realize these sorts of attacks are carried out by the US with the specific intent to discredit peaceful Muslims to support their Zionist allies? (for the slow, yes, that's sarcasm)

It's sad that so many innocents die due to the hate-filled ideologies of a few.

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This terrorist attack against the Marriot hotel will really help boost the loving and caring image for Muslims all around the world. (sarcasm) I am sure they are not happy with the US, NATO etc..and also thier crappy, sorry corrupt governments, so go take it out (frustrations) against an innocent American owned hotel?? Idiots! RIP dead dudes in this Jakarta hotel terrorist attack.

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I agree with AeJaLove. Now the threats are growing, even in the face of so-called peaceful atmosphere the last 3 or so years. Japanese folks are not aware of these dangers and they continue to flock in Bali and Sulawesi of Indonesia. I won't be surprised if they attack Bali again.

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NeoJamal : "...long before these radical mess..." ??????????????????? dude, where have you been?? was the 1998 riot not radical enough????? I have been living in Indonesia for the last 20 years and I was right smack in the middle of the '98 riot so I strongly disagree if you say "...long before these radical mess..." heck, even before the '97 fiasco Indonesia was already facing threats from around..

Sorry, I meant 'before the times when westerners get specifically blown up'.

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The death toll of the explosions in JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton is up to 9.

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NeoJamal : "...long before these radical mess..." ??????????????????? dude, where have you been?? was the 1998 riot not radical enough????? I have been living in Indonesia for the last 20 years and I was right smack in the middle of the '98 riot so I strongly disagree if you say "...long before these radical mess..." heck, even before the '97 fiasco Indonesia was already facing threats from around..

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Of course it's only incidental that this has happened in an Islamic country...

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You know, I stayed in a 5 star Jakarta hotel back in '99, long before these radical mess and I still sensed a clear and present danger lingering in the atmosphere.

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