JAKARTA (RPRN) 7/17/2009–The Indonesia capital Jakarta remains on high alert after suspected bombs tore through two luxury hotels just before 8:00 a.m., killing at least nine people. Police and security staff jostled with reporters as the first bodies were removed from the J.W. Marriot Hotel in central Jakarta, located in a circle of buildings, shops and restaurants frequented by foreigners.
At the scene, Security Minister Widodo Adi Sucipto said the blasts were caused by “high explosives”, which were detonated just minutes apart. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The explosions appear to have come from inside the buildings, with both the front and back windows of the Ritz Carlton blown off, spreading glass and debris across the street. Investigators also found another, unexploded bomb, in the Marriott.
One hotel employee says he rushed from the basement of the Marriot hotel to the second floor. There he found injured people whose clothing had been stripped from their bodies. He says some were trying to relieve their burns with water.
Other witnesses say emergency services may have taken up to 30 minutes to reach the scene as they battled through the early morning traffic that chokes the city every day.
Friday’s explosions are the first significant attacks in the capital in nearly five years. In September 2004, a powerful car bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy.
The Marriot was hit by a suicide bomber in 2003, a blast that left 12 dead. The Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed for that attack and the bomb at the Australian embassy.
Photo Credit: VOA NEWS