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Indonesia Bomb Investigation Finds New Evidence - 2004-09-14


Investigators in Indonesia have found significant new evidence in the search for those responsible for last Thursday's deadly bombing near the Australian embassy. Diplomats and intelligence agencies are worried that the bombers might strike again if they are not caught soon.

Five days after a deadly car bomb exploded on a busy Jakarta street near the Australian embassy, investigators have found part of a man's head that they believe might have belonged to a suicide bomber. The discovery, on the fifth floor of a neighboring office building, could help investigators make a positive identification.

The police have identified the bodies of nine of the victims - seven men and two women, all Indonesians. They are still not sure if one or two suicide bombers were inside the van containing the explosives.

All evidence points to the Islamic militant organization known as Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida linked group. Police have offered a bounty of about $110,000 each for two top members, master bomb-maker Azahari Husin and treasurer Nurdin Mohammed Top; and $55,000 each for less important members.

Western embassies say they have intelligence that the bombers could be planning another attack soon and are warning against visiting certain parts of Jakarta. "I really urge all Australians and others here to read travel advisories very carefully indeed," said Australian Ambassador David Ritchie.

Australia, the United States and other western countries are advising against all non-essential travel to Indonesia and warning their nationals to avoid places where westerners congregate because they might become targets.

Australian diplomats returned to their badly damaged embassy, but it is not likely to be reopened for several days. The embassy, which had been strengthened to withstand a bomb attack, fared much better than surrounding buildings, many of which lost all their glass.

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