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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Korea Herald : The Nation's No.1 English Newspaper

The Korea Herald : The Nation's No.1 English NewspaperSuicide bombers behind Bali blasts

The bombings in Bali were the deadly work of three suicide bombers who calmly walked into restaurants at a peak weekend dinner hour, police said yesterday (Oct 2).

Wearing backpacks, they detonated their explosives amid crowds of revellers, sparking horrific scenes of carnage.

Indonesian police confirmed yesterday (Oct 2)that parts of the bombers' bodies had been found at the sites of the attacks in the Kuta and Jimbaran resort areas.

Dramatic TV footage from a tourist's amateur video showed people, including a family with a young boy, peacefully dining at the Raja Cafe minutes before a blinding flash and explosion sparked chaos and screaming.

A man dressed in black was shown walking into the restaurant just before the blast.

The attacks -- at two restaurants in upmarket Jimbaran and another, busier eatery in the heart of Kuta on Saturday night (Oct 1) -- killed 26 people, including 12 Indonesians, three Australians and a Japanese. The rest have yet to be identified.

The 122 injured included 20 Australians, four Americans, eight South Koreans, three Japanese, one French, and one German.

As in the 2002 bombings that killed 202 people, those who suffered the most this time were Indonesians themselves; they comprised most of the dead and at least 64 of the wounded.

Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement yesterday (Oct 2) that there were no reports of any Singaporean casualties.

Confirming that suicide bombers were behind the blasts, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who toured one of the two bomb sites yesterday, said: "So far, our investigations have revealed that these attacks were carried out by suicide bombers both in Jimbaran and Kuta.

"They did not use vehicles but their own bodies. We have some evidence, including the parts of bodies found at the two locations."

Presidential spokesman Dino Djalal told reporters that police had found "six legs and three heads but no middle bodies, and that's the strong sign of suicide bombers".

At the beach-side restaurant in Jimbaran, near the Four Seasons Resort, two heads and two sets of legs without torsos were discovered in the debris, he said.

At Kuta, similar remains were found in the shattered Raja restaurant.

But Bali police chief I Made Mangku Pastika said yesterday (Oct 2): "I am certain that there are others involved in this bombing."

He told a press conference: "There are those who planned it, there were those making the arrangements, those preparing the bombs, and those are the ones we must search for."

As Indonesian investigators, assisted by the Australian police, sifted through the debris at the two bomb sites, more dramatic accounts of Saturday night's events emerged from survivors who were at the scene.

Australian tourist Joe Frost, 20, was dining at the open-air Nyoman Cafe at Jimbaran beach when the bombs went off.

"After the first bomb, we all stood up and looked around and we were hoping it was a gas explosion.

"But then a bomb went off right under our table. Someone ran past and threw it under there. The next thing I knew, I was thrown to the ground ....

"I ran into the ocean because I figured that was the safest place."

Another survivor, Singaporean insurance executive Rozita Latiff, 28, and two friends, were near the steak house in Kuta when the bombs went off.

He said: "We didn't expect terrorists to hit a target twice."

No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday's bombing but security experts said the strikes bore the hallmark of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the network seen as the regional arm of Al-Qaeda.

Intelligence chiefs also suspect that the two Malaysian fugitives Azahari Husin and Noordin Mat Top, could be behind the blasts.

The two JI leaders are still on the loose, prompting authorities to put security on high alert throughout the Indonesian capital.

Some 18,000 police officers were deployed to guard strategic places, including embassies in Jakarta.

A grim-faced Dr Yudhoyono yesterday (Oct 2) pledged to hunt down the perpetrators and restore calm to the country.

"We will intensify our efforts to bring back normalcy of life in Bali and elsewhere," he said.


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