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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Jakarta Double Suicide Bombing by Suspected ISIS militants Targeting Police Convoy 3 policemen and at least 10 injured




Jakarta suicide bomb kills three policemen, wounds at least five
Police officers at the site of the suspected suicide bombing in Jakarta. Picture; AP.
Indonesian policemen guard the site of a suspected suicide bomb at a bus terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia. Picture: Getty Images.
Indonesian policemen investigate the site of a suspected suicide bomb in Jakarta. Picture: Getty Images.
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Three policemen are dead and ten people injured in a suspected double suicide bomb attack targeting a police convoy near a bus station in east Jakarta on the eve of a Christian holiday in Muslim-majority Indonesia, and two days before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Two suspected bombers were also killed in the blast which Indonesian police believe could be linked to an ISIS strike on the southern Philippines city of Marawi Tuesday night and a deadly suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the British city of Manchester Monday.

“We have been preparing for a possible attack. As you know there was an attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and just last night there was an attack by ISIS on the city of Marawi,” national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said.

“This could be part of a global effort to spread fear and terror.”

The two bombs were detonated within five minutes of each other around 9pm (AEST0000) near the Kampung Melayu bus stop in the Indonesian capital, around 500 metres from the popular Kota Casablanca shopping mall, as police were overseeing a local parade ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan which begins Saturday.


An Indonesian bomb squad police officer checks for other explosive device at the site of the bomb attack. Picture: AFP.

One police officer was killed instantly and two others later died of their injuries in the explosions near the public restrooms, which were heard up to a kilometre away and sent glass flying from the nearby bus stop.

Five more police officers and five civilians were injured in the attack.

“Based on our investigation of the crime scene the two blasts were caused by different suicide bombers. “We are still trying to identify the perpetrators,” General Setyo said.

“Hopefully we will find more clues as to who they are and if they are connected to a specific terror cell.”

Police found fragments of pressure cookers, as well as nails and bolts and a receipt for the purchase of a pressure cooker on the body of one of the suspected perpetrators. The receipt was dated Monday and was from a store in west Java, an area known as a hotbed of radicalism.

The bombing is the second deadly terror strike on Jakarta in as many years after gunmen and a suicide bomber killed four civilian in central Jakarta in January 2016, and comes amid concern over rising radicalism in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Indonesia has suffered a series of attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people including 88 Australians, but last year’s strike was the first claimed by Islamic State.

A sustained crackdown by Indonesian security forces over the past decade has weakened the most dangerous terror networks as well as the capacity for major terror strikes.

But the emergence of Islamic State has helped foster a new generation of violent jihadist groups, and encouraged as many as 400 Indonesians to travel to Syria and Iraq to join their brutal fight for an Islamic caliphate.

Last month the city’s ethnic Chinese Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok Purnama, was jailed for two years for blasphemy following a well-funded campaign by Islamic conservatives seeking to foil his re-election to office.

A day before the governor’s shock jailing the Indonesian government announced it would ban the pro-Islamic caliphate group, Hizb ut-Tahrir for anti-state activities.

Indonesia’s constitution formally recognises six religions - Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism and Buddhism - and the country enjoys a mandated public holiday today for the Ascension of Jesus Christ.

President Joko Widodo yesterday expressed his deep sympathy to victims and their families and called on Indonesians to “remain calm and preserve unity..because in the next few days Muslims will welcome Ramadan and start their fasting ritual”.

But he said such attacks must never happen again.

“This is outrageous. Ojek (motorbike taxi) drivers became victims, angkot (public minivan) drivers became victims, shopkeepers became victims, police also became victims,” he said.

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