Cana­dian among those killed in In­done­sia at­tacks

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A Cana­dian man was killed in In­done­sia’s cap­i­tal Thurs­day when gun­men launched a se­ries of co-or­di­nated at­tacks which po­lice said were linked to the Is­lamic State group.

Jakarta po­lice chief Maj.-Gen. Tito Kar­na­vian told a news con­fer­ence that the first at­tack — a sui­cide bomb­ing — hap­pened at a Star­bucks, caus­ing cus­tomers to run out­side, where two gun­men opened fire, killing the Cana­dian and wound­ing an In­done­sian by­stander.

At about the same time two other sui­cide bombers at­tacked a nearby traf­fic po­lice booth, killing them­selves and an In­done­sian man.

Mo­ments later, Kar­na­vian said, a group of po­lice­men was at­tacked by two re­main­ing gun­men, us­ing home­made bombs. This led to a 15-minute gun­fight, he said.

All five gun­men were killed and twenty peo­ple were wounded in the at­tacks, po­lice said.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was work­ing with In­done­sian au­thor­i­ties to con­firm the re­ports of a Cana­dian killed in the at­tacks.

“The hearts of Canada and Cana­di­ans go out to the peo­ple of In­done­sia and all the fam­i­lies and vic­tims of th­ese ter­ri­ble at­tacks,” Trudeau said at an ap­pear­ance in Kitch­ener, Ont.

“We’re of course go­ing to be sup­port­ing the govern­ment in any­thing it needs from Canada through this dif­fi­cult time.”

The fed­eral govern­ment up­dated its travel ad­vi­sory for Jakarta in the af­ter­math of the at­tacks, ad­vis­ing Cana­di­ans to re­main vig­i­lant, fol­low the ad­vice of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and avoid the city’s down­town area.

Is­lamic State group back­ers have cir­cu­lated a claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity on Twit­ter for at­tack and In­done­sian po­lice said the at­tack­ers were af­fil­i­ated with the Is­lamic State group.

A Cana­dian man work­ing with the United Na­tions was in Jakarta for a meet­ing on Thurs­day and wit­nessed the panic trig­gered by the late-morn­ing ex­plo­sions.

Jeremy Dou­glas, of Port Perry, Ont., was in a car when he first got a call from a UN se­cu­rity of­fi­cer ad­vis­ing him there had been a blast very close to the of­fice he was head­ing to.

In min­utes, he had ar­rived at the build­ing and was get­ting out of his ve­hi­cle when a se­cond ex­plo­sion oc­curred.

“I hadn’t even closed the car door and you heard the ex­plo­sion. It was right across the street, kitty-cor­ner to the of­fice, about 100 me­tres,” the 44-yearold told The Cana­dian Press. “It was a big siz­able ex­plo­sion, def­i­nitely could hear it, you could feel it.”

At first, it was un­clear what had oc­curred and con­fu­sion abounded, Dou­glas said, but sub­se­quent small blasts sent peo­ple scur­ry­ing for cover.

Dou­glas and his col­leagues rushed into the UN of­fice build­ing to a se­cure floor where they could see po­lice and other se­cu­rity forces re­spond­ing to the at­tack.

While in­side, he said he heard the sound of gun­fire as as­sailants and po­lice faced off.

“They started a shootout in the street,” he said. “We were wit­ness­ing the tac­ti­cal team sweep­ing ... some ar­moured per­son­nel car­rier moved up the street. It was pretty crazy.”

The en­tire episode lasted about half an hour, Dou­glas said, and took place in a busy part of Jakarta’s down­town that is pop­u­lated with many of­fices, ho­tels and em­bassies.

“There were a lot of peo­ple in the Star­bucks,” he said, not­ing that UN staff had been in­jured at the cafe. “This is right in the cen­tre of it, it’s pretty amaz­ing that it was so few killed”

AP PHOTO

In­done­sians lay flow­ers near the po­lice post where a sui­cide bomb­ing took place in Jakarta, In­done­sia, Thurs­day. At­tack­ers set off bombs and ex­changed gun­fire out­side the cafe in In­done­sia’s cap­i­tal in a brazen as­sault that left a Cana­dian among those killed.

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