Explosions kill eight in Jakarta

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Eight people have been killed, including the two suicide bombers, and many more injured in two explosions at around 7.50 am local time in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Reports from local news cite a Canadian, an American, and a Swedish citizen as being among the dead. Most of the wounded have been taken to local hospitals for treatment.

File:JW Marriott Hotel-Jakarta.JPG

The J.W. Marriott in Jakarta.
Image: Lofor .
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

The explosions were at two luxury hotels, the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, popular with foreign businessmen in the business district and are reported to have occurred in the hotel restaurants during breakfast. The two hotels are connected by an underground tunnel.

Indonesian security were at first unwilling to confirm that this was a terrorist attack, however later reports revealed the attack to be the work of two suicide bombers.

A bomber and five victims died at the Marriott. At the Ritz-Carlton one person was killed in addition to the bomber.

According to police, the dozens of wounded included citizens of Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Japan, India, and the United States.

Several amateur videos of the site after the bombing, taken by local residents, show large amounts of smoke; the two explosions took place only two minutes apart. The near simultaneous detonation of devices at multiple targets frequented by foreigners is a hallmark of the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.

An additional unexploded bomb was later found and defused at the Marriott.

This has been the first successful bombing in some years. The same Marriott was previously the target of a terrorist car bomb in 2003.

A third explosion took place some hours later, in Muara Angke, North Jakarta. The police have declared this event to be unrelated to the other explosions, stating it was simply a car accident that lead to a tire burst and engine short circuit.