TWO BLASTS ROCK JAKARTA
JUST two days after the suicide bomb attack in Manchester, the United Kingdom that killed 22, the Indonesian capital was rocked by two explosions at a bus terminal in the Kampung Melayu area of the city. Authorities report at least two were killed, a poli
ASUSPECTED suicide bomb attack rocked a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last night, leaving at least one policeman dead and five others injured.
“There has been a bomb. For now, we suspect it is a suicide bombing,” deputy national police chief Syafruddin told TV station TVOne. He said the bomber was killed along with one police officer. Five other policemen were injured.
There were two blasts in Kampung Melayu, where the bus terminal is located, which is served by minibuses and buses.
East Jakarta police chief Andry Wibowo told local TV station MetroTV that there were two blasts at around 9pm, close to each other.
“From the damage I can see the explosions were pretty big”, he was quoted as saying.
An eyewitness, Sultan Muhammad Firdaus, told TV station Kompas TV he heard two explosions about 10 minutes apart.
“The explosions were quite loud, I could hear them clearly,” he said. He said he thought two police officers were injured in the blast.
A hospital official speaking on Metro TV said two policemen and a civilian were being treated, and all three were conscious. Another TV report said five people were wounded.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with Islamic militancy.
Hundreds of radicals from Indonesia have flocked to fight with the Islamic State (IS) militant group, sparking fears that weakened extremist outfits could get a new lease of life.
A gun and suicide attack in Jakarta left four attackers and four civilians dead in January last year, and was the first assault claimed by IS in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia has suffered a series of Islamic militant attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
A sustained crackdown weakened the most dangerous networks but the emergence of the group has proved a potent new rallying cry for radicals.
In Mogadishu, a blast killed five civilians and injured six more yesterday, a city spokesman said, underscoring the ability of Islamist insurgents to carry out bombings despite territorial losses.
“We have confirmed five civilians, including a mother and her son, died,” said Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu mayor.
A Reuters reporter at the scene saw burnt bodies and a wrecked car near a damaged police checkpoint.
Also yesterday, eight Kenyan security officers were killed on the Kenyan side of the Somali border in two separate roadside bombings.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the first attack.
Adding to the violence, a small jihadist group in the north of Somalia has split from the main insurgency and declared allegiance to the Islamic State.
Police at the scene of an explosion near a bus terminal in the Kampung Melayu area, Jakarta.