Small blast hits Indonesian Embassy in Paris

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An explosion triggered by a booby-trap device in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Paris slightly injured nine people this morning, including four embassy workers, French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said.

A rigged package exploded at the base of a flag pole in front of the embassy. Cars in the area were damaged and windows were shattered.

Most of the injured people were hurt by flying glass, the interior minister said.

Police set up barriers to block access to the area, which was lined with fire trucks and police cars. Several people were seen being accompanied by rescue workers from the area where the explosion occurred.

The embassy is located in the exclusive 16th district of Paris. Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin was expected at the scene shortly.

Windows were blown out in the immediate area, and rescue workers warned nearby residents to stay indoors, according to the radio report.

Indonesia is preparing to inaugurate a new leader following President Megawati Sukarnoputri's defeat in an election last month.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won a landslide victory last month. The retired army general is to be inaugurated on October 20.

The election was the first in which Indonesia's 210 million people voted for their president directly. The ballot was praised as a key step in the country's transition to democracy after the downfall of ex-dictator Suharto in 1998.