At least eight people have been killed and 50 others injured in near
simultaneous suicide bombings at two luxury hotels in Jakarta.
Indonesia's security minister, Widodo Adi Sucipto, said
the blasts that ripped through the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels
Friday were caused by "high explosives" which were detonated just
The casualties included Americans, Australians and a New Zealander.
Authorities say the bombs were planted near the restaurant of the
Ritz-Carlton and in the basement of the Marriott. The windows of the
Ritz-Carlton restaurant were blown out, with debris and shattered glass
littering the street.
An unexploded bomb was later found inside the Marriott. Jakarta's police chief said the attackers had been staying at the hotel as guests.
No one has claimed responsibility, but similar bombings in the past
have been blamed on the Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah
Islamiyah. And authorities said this latest attack may be the work of
the group's suspected bombmaker, Noordin Mohammed Top.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called the bombings acts of
terrorism, and vowed to arrest those responsible. In Washington,
President Obama condemned the attacks and extended condolences to the
victims and their families.
One of the fatalities in Friday's bomb blasts has been identified as
Tim Mackay of New Zealand, the head of the local subsidiary of global
cement maker PT Holcim.
These are the first such attacks in Jakarta since September 2004, when
a powerful car bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy. The
Jakarta Marriott was the target of an attack in 2003 that left 12
people dead. The al-Qaida linked Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed for that
attack, as well as two deadly bombings on the Indonesian resort island
of Bali in 2002 and 2005.
Observers say Jemaah Islamiyah has been hampered by the arrests of many
of its leaders, but many of its members still pose a threat to the
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the latest attacks made him
"sick at the stomach" and denounced them as barbaric and cowardly.
Australia is urging its citizens to reconsider any travel plans to
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks during a
stopover in Prague on her way for a weeklong Asian trip. Clinton called
them an example of the "viciousness of violent extremists."