At least 13 people are
dead and over 100 are injured after a suspected car bomb exploded
outside a high-rise hotel in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The
explosion comes just as judges prepare the verdict in the trial of
a suspect in last year's Bali terrorism bombing.
Dozens of emergency vehicles raced to the J.W. Marriott hotel in
central Jakarta early Tuesday afternoon, after a bomb gutted the
hotel's lobby, blowing out walls and shattering windows as high as
Four taxis in front of the hotel were destroyed. The body of
one of victim lay next to a taxi. Nearby buildings were also damaged.
Authorities say the blast was likely caused by a car bomb. The
governor of Indonesia's capital Jakarta says it may have been the
work of a suicide bomber. Police have not determined who is responsible
for the bomb.
Australian Simon Leunig was in his room at the hotel when the
bomb went off. "I got dressed because I just got out of the shower,
and put some sturdy shoes on, got my passport and my phone and
my wallet and headed down," he said. "Obviously, I thought it was
Another hotel guest, New Zealander Anne Marie Mulder thought
much the same. "It sounded like a bomb," she said, as she recalled
her thoughts. "And what do I do and how do we get out and where
is everybody? That's what everybody thought, and are they all right?"
A manager for the hotel says no guests were killed in the blast.
The blast comes two days before the first verdict is to be issued
in the trial of a Bali bombing suspect. Two hundred two people,
most of them foreigners, died in the October terror attack in a
popular tourist district. There are four trials under way in the
case. The Bali attack is thought to be the work of Jemaah Islamiyah,
a regional Islamic terror group. On Tuesday, there was another
hearing in the trial of Abu Bakar Bashir, who authorities say is
the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah.
Since the Bali attack, many Western governments have warned citizens
to avoid unnecessary travel to Indonesia, fearing new attacks.
Jakarta has seen dozens of smaller bombings in recent years, and
there are a number of ethnic and separatist conflicts going on
in different parts of the country.
Several of the suspects in the Bali case have said they intended
to kill foreigners. The Marriott hotel, located in a key business
district, is popular among tourists and foreign business people.