Jakarta attacks: Suicide bomb blasts and gun assaults in Indonesia capital leave at least seven dead

Indonesia's president labels the assaults 'acts of terror'

Richard A. L. Williams
Thursday 14 January 2016 07:05
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Police hold rifles while walking behind a car for protection
Police hold rifles while walking behind a car for protection

Suicide bomb blasts and gun attacks have left at least seven people - including five militants - dead in the centre of Indonesia's capital city.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the apparently co-ordinated deadly assault but it followed threats by Isis to put the country in its "spotlight".

An armed Indonesian police officer points his gun as he secures the area

Amid an ongoing battle between militants and security services, Jakarta police spokesman Colonel Muhammad Iqbal said officers had recovered the bodies of five attackers. It was not clear if more remained at large.

Bank security guard Tri Seranto said he saw three suicide bombers who blew themselves up near a Starbucks cafe outside a shopping centre.

He said he saw two other men carrying handguns walk into a police post before hearing gunfire emerge from the area.

Indonesian police take position and aim their weapons as they pursue suspects

Mr Seranto said he later saw one policeman dead and three seriously injured. Two gunmen were seen running away with police in pursuit.

Meanwhile, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the aftermath of the explosions said: "The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out.

"I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him."

Police officers react near the site of a blast in Jakarta

Following the first explosions, a gun-battle broke out between the attackers and anti-terror police, and gunfire could be heard more than an hour later.

About two hours later, another explosion was heard from a cafe near the Starbucks, about five minutes after 25 anti-terror policemen entered. It was not clear if the explosion was a controlled detonation or a bomb.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said one customer in its branch in the Skyline building was injured but all other visitors and employees were safe.

An Indonesian policeman near the site of a blast

"We are deeply saddened by the senseless act that has taken place in Jakarta; our hearts are with the people of Indonesia," a statement said.

"While this store will remain closed, based on the stabilisation of the situation being conveyed by local authorities, we will open all stores in Jakarta and across Indonesia tomorrow .

"We are continuing to monitor this situation closely, and will provide additional information as it becomes available."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo labelled the killings "acts of terror" and urged people to remain calm.

"This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people," he said in statement on television.

"Our nation and our people should not be afraid, we will not be defeated by these acts of terror, I hope the public stay calm."

There were also unconfirmed reports of blasts outside the city's United Nations office and in Cikni, Silpi and Kuningan neighborhoods - near the Turkish and Pakistani embassies.

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