Jakarta attacks: Indonesians defy terror with powerful message on social media - 'we are not afraid'

Thousands of people were tweeting the hashtag #KamiTidakTakut after at least seven people died

Indonesians are vowing not to be cowed by terror after a series of suicide bombings and shooting attacks in Jakarta.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police said the perpetrators were “imitating” November’s Isis attacks in Paris.

At least seven people, including five suspected attackers, died and several more were injured.

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As news of gunfights and explosions in the Indonesian capital spread on social media, people started tweeting the hashtag #KamiTidakTakut, meaning “we are not afraid”.

Other popular hashtags included, #JakartaBerani, meaning "brave Jakarta", urged people to “pray for Jakarta” and also helped people verify that their friends and families were safe using #SafetyCheckJKT. 

Police said five of the attackers and two other people were killed Thursday near the Sarinah shopping mall, which is surrounded by international shops and restaurants, a cinema, UN and government offices.

General Anton Charliyan, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s national police, said the perpetrators were “imitating” the Paris attacks but it was unclear whether Isis was directly involved.

The Indonesian President, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, called on people not to give in to fear.

“This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people,” he said. 

“The state, the nation and the people should not be afraid of, and lose to, such terror acts.”

It came after several security crackdowns following terror threats in recent weeks and was the first major violence in Indonesia's capital since explosions targeting two hotels killed seven people and injured more than 50 in 2009. 

The 2002 bombing in a nightclub on the resort island of Bali killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

Those attacks were claimed by Jemaah Islamiah, an al-Qaeda linked Islamist group with cells in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Additional reporting by AP