Gunmen, Suicide Bombers Kill Six In Indonesia

At least six people have been killed, following an attack by gunmen, suicide bombers in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people, police said, in an attack on a country that Islamic State had threatened to put in its “spotlight”.

While suspicion is likely to fall on Islamic State or its allies, police said they did not know who was responsible and President Joko Widodo urged the public not to speculate on who was behind the attack.

Police said there were at least six explosions and they had shot dead three of the attackers and captured four. Three suicide bombers were suspected to have been involved while three policemen and three civilians were also killed, they said.

The main thrust of the attack was on an office block and it began with a blast outside a Starbucks cafe on its ground floor.

“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,” said a Reuters photographer.

Indonesia has been on edge for weeks over the threat posed by Islamist militants and counter-terrorism police have launched a crackdown on people with suspected links to Islamic State.

“We have previously received a threat from Islamic State that Indonesia will be the spotlight,” police spokesman Anton Charliyan told reporters.

The last major militant attacks in Jakarta were in July 2009, with bombs at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.

Media reported that a Dutch person and another foreigner were among the casualties on Thursday but it was unclear if they were dead or wounded.

Police snipers were deployed among hundreds of other security officers, some in armored vehicles.

A bomb disposal unit was seen entering the building where the Starbucks is located, which also houses a cinema where at one stage, police exchanged fire with gunmen.

An office worker the building, who declined to be identified, said he and fellow workers had been ordered to stay put after the first blast.

“That’s when I heard the second explosion. It was loud and powerful,” he said.

Several hours after the attacks began, the witness heard more gunfire and at least one more explosion. A couple of hours later police said they were combing the building and they later declared the area secure.

Outside, a body still lay on the street and a shoe lay nearby. The city center’s notoriously jammed roads were largely deserted.



Categories: Asia, Indonesia, World

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