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Authorities Question Suspects in Saturday's Bali Bombing - 2002-10-16


Indonesian police are planning to formally detain at least two people as suspects in Saturday's deadly bombing on the resort island of Bali. At least 180 people were killed in the attack, and hundreds more were injured. Indonesia's National Police spokesman says the suspects are among the people being questioned about the Bali bombing since Sunday. Brigadier General Saleh Saaf said some of the suspects were Indonesians but gave no other information.

Indonesian authorities also confirmed Wednesday that investigators found traces of C-4 explosives at the bomb site. C-4 has been used in bombing by the al-Qaida terror network.

Indonesian and Australian officials have said it is possible that local terrorist groups worked with al-Qaida in order to carry out the attack. The Indonesian militant group Jemaah Islamiah has also been under close scrutiny.

Australian and Indonesia have agreed to form a joint task force to speed the investigation. And the Australian government Wednesday offered $1 million reward leading to the capture of those responsible.

Australia has lost the largest number of citizens in the attack that killed at least 180 mostly-foreign tourists.

In other developments, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri is preparing to enact an emergency decree to give authorities broader powers to crackdown on suspected terrorists. The move is designed to bypass parliament, which has been bogged down in debate over passing anti-terrorism legislation.

The United States, Singapore and Malaysia have been pressuring Jakarta to crack down on militant groups like Jemaah Islamiah. Both Malaysia and Singapore have strict internal security laws through which they have arrested dozens of suspected terrorists and can hold them with out trial for years.

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