Indonesian police shift hunt for Bali bombers to Java

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The Independent Online

Indonesian police have identified one of three men sought in connection with the Bali bombing, shifting their focus to the neighbouring island of Java after finding a photograph matching a sketch of him during a raid on a house.

Indonesian police have identified one of three men sought in connection with the Bali bombing, shifting their focus to the neighbouring island of Java after finding a photograph matching a sketch of him during a raid on a house.

The man, whose relatives were questioned yesterday, was identified by a person described as a reliable informant. Police are searching for him in Malang, East Java, a province separated from Bali by a strait.

Investigators from Australia believe the explosive left outside the crowded nightclub was chlorate, used in chemical manufacturing. More than 400kg (880lb) of chlorate were stolen on Java in September, they said.

Scientists have completed their forensic examination of the bomb site in the beach resort of Kuta. They said the bombers had demonstrated a high degree of expertise and planning, aiming to inflict the maximum number of casualties.

Graham Ashton, of the Australian Federal Police, said the main blast was so large most people died in the initial shockwave, before bomb fragments tore through the Sari nightclub and a fireball erupted. "It may be of some reassurance to the families ... to know that those people who lost their lives in the Sari Club did so very quickly, such was the size of the blast," he said.

With the scientific examination complete, a ceremony was held yesterday to hand the bomb site back to the Balinese community.

Nearly 200 people, many of them foreign tourists, died in the explosions at the Sari Club and Paddy's Bar three weeks ago. The attack has been widely blamed on Jamaah Islamiya, an extremist group seeking to create an Islamist state in South-east Asia.

Police are poised to question the organisation's spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, who is being held in a hospital in Jakarta. About 500 of his supporters protested in the Javanese city of Solo yesterday at his detention. He has already been charged with ordering a string of church bombings in 2000 that killed 19 people and with plotting to kill the President, Megawati Sukarnoputri.

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