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Investigations Continue into Jakarta Terrorist Bombings

  • Brian Padden

Investigations continued Saturday into the Friday bombings at two hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia that left nine people dead and at least 50 injured. Little information about the bombings is being released to the public.

On Saturday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the sites where two bombs exploded at the Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.

On Friday the president said the bombings were acts of terrorism but he made no statement during the visits.

The governor of Jakarta Fauzi Bowo visited victims injured in the blasts. At one hospital he visited, he said of the 17 that were admitted yesterday, only seven remain in intensive care. The governor also said one of the victims was a Marriott Hotel security guard who was also injured in the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing.

He says the guard was severely burned last time and has a healed scar on his hand. This time, he says, the burns are not as severe but the man is in shock.

Investigations into the cause of the bombings are underway. The police have so far made no public statements beyond confirming that suicide bombers were responsible for the attacks, and that the perpetrators were posing as guests at the Marriott Hotel. Health officials have confirmed that Americans, Australians, Canadians and a New Zealander were among the victims of the bombings.

No official suspects have been named, but analysts say it is likely be the work of Jemaah Islamiyah or a breakaway faction of the group. The al-Qaida-linked network is blamed for past attacks in Indonesia, including the 2003 bombing at the Marriott in which 12 people died.

The Governor of Jakarta says from looking at the Marriott Hotel surveillance tape recorded just before the blast, they have determined that the perpetrators planted the bombs in their luggage.

He says there is an indication that the source of one of the explosions was inside heavy luggage being carried into the hotel restaurant.

Friday's blasts raised questions about security gaps at high-end hotels. Hotels have become popular targets for militants in recent years, most notably in Mumbai, India, where attacks in November of 2008 killed more than 160 people.

The governor says Indonesian authorities are considering requiring that guests check all luggage before being allowed into hotel restaurants.

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