JAKARTA under terror Attack

Published : 10:23 am  January 15, 2016 | No comments so far |  | 

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BY PIYUMI FONSEKA
The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that there were no Sri Lankans among the injured in yesterday’s series of blasts and gunfire reported in the Indonesian Capital, Jakarta.

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We have contacted local authorities in Jakarta. According to them, no reports have been received of any Sri Lankan being affected in the series of blasts. However, we will keep contacting them since it is difficult to determine the nationalities of the injured as soon as such a bomb blast takes place.


It took the security forces about three hours to end the siege near a Starbucks cafe and Sarinah’s, Jakarta’s oldest department store, after a team of around seven militants traded gunfire with police and blew themselves up. A police officer and a Canadian man were killed in the attack, which – with the attackers - took the death toll to seven.

Seventeen people, including a Dutch man, were wounded. Two of the militants were taken alive, police said. “Islamic State fighters carried out an armed attack this morning targeting foreign nationals and the security forces charged with protecting them in the
Indonesian capital,” Aamaaq news agency, which is allied to the group, said on its Telegram channel.

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Jakarta’s police chief told reporters: “ISIS is behind this attack definitely,” using a common acronym for Islamic State, and he named an
Indonesian militant called Bahrun Naim as the man responsible for plotting it. The drama played out on the streets and on television screens, with at least six explosions and a gunfight in a movie theatre. “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,” Reuters photographer Darren Whiteside said as the attack unfolded.

Police responded in force within minutes. Black armoured cars screeched to a halt in front of the Starbucks and sniper teams were deployed around the neighbourhood as helicopters buzzed overhead. After the militants had been overcome, a body still lay on the street, a shoe nearby among the debris. The city centre’s notoriously jammed roads were largely deserted.

Indonesia has seen attacks by Islamist militants before, but a coordinated assault by a team of suicide bombers and gunmen is
unprecedented and has echoes of the sieges seen in Mumbai seven years ago and in Paris last November.


No Lankan casualties

04“We have contacted local authorities in Jakarta. According to them, no reports have been received of any Sri Lankan being affected in the series of blasts.

However, we will keep contacting them since it is difficult to determine nationalities of the injured as soon as such bomb blast takes place,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said. Media reported that a Dutch national and another foreigner were among the casualties, but it was not clear whether they were dead or wounded.

About ten Sri Lankans are working in Indonesia according to the Foreign Employment Bureau.

 

 

 

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