Bomb at Jakarta stock exchange kills 13

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The Independent Online

At least 13 people were killed and 27 injured when a car bomb exploded at the Jakarta stock exchange yesterday, as Indonesia prepared for the second instalment of the former dictator Suharto's corruption trial, which resumes today. A police spokesman said five people were held for questioning.

At least 13 people were killed and 27 injured when a car bomb exploded at the Jakarta stock exchange yesterday, as Indonesia prepared for the second instalment of the former dictator Suharto's corruption trial, which resumes today. A police spokesman said five people were held for questioning.

The blast, in a three-floor underground garage, happened 45 minutes before the close of business, and started a blaze that set off a chain of explosions as dozens of cars caught fire.

Emergency workers were able to douse the flames and make their way through the smoke to the centre of the blast on the second floor. They continued to pull out the dead and injured for many hours afterwards. Some were found still in the charred remains of their cars. A police officer said many bodies remained in the car park.

The explosion was the latest in series of unexplained bombings in Indonesia. Many people suspect they could be linked to the corruption trial of former president Suharto, who ruled the country for 32 years until he was ousted in 1998.

Mysterious explosions have coincided with every important stage of the investigation. Just before the trial began two weeks ago, a bomb exploded inside an unoccupied bus less than 300 yards from the building in which Mr Suharto was to be tried. There were no casualties. The case resumes today when doctors will be questioned about whether the defendant is fit to stand trial.

The explosion will damage President Abdurrahman Wahid's attempts to restore confidence in the crisis-hit Indonesian economy. In the past President Wahid has complained that his opponents have used terror tactics to destabilise the year-old reformist government.

Trading at the stock exchange has been suspended for the rest of the week while police investigate.

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