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French Rule Bomb Outside Indonesian Embassy in Paris Criminal Act - 2004-10-08

A small bomb exploded in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Paris early Friday, injuring 10 people. Authorities are calling the explosion a criminal action.

The bomb exploded at around five a.m., local time, in front of the Indonesian Embassy, located in the elegant 16th arrondissement, or district, in Paris.

French authorities say nobody was killed, and those injured were cut by flying glass from the explosion, and were sent to a hospital for treatment. Police say four of the injured worked at the Indonesian Embassy.

The bomb created a small crater where it exploded, and blasted glass over an area of 30 meters.

French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin, who arrived at the embassy shortly after the attack, ruled the attack was a criminal act. In remarks carried on French public radio, Mr. de Villepin said police were on the spot conducting aninvestigation. He said he asked that they alert him to their conclusions as rapidly as possible.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. And authorities say it is not clear who might be behind it or why the Indonesian Embassy might have been targeted.

Mr. de Villepin hastily called for a meeting with his aides Friday morning to address possible threats to France.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa, speaking Friday morning in Jakarta, said Indonesia was collaborating with French police in the investigation. "At this time, we don't know whether the explosion was directed at the Indonesian Embassy, and we are working with the local police to ascertain what is the motive and what exactly took place," he said.

French President Jacques Chirac, who is attending an Asian-European summit in Hanoi, sent a message of support to the Indonesian government.

Like many others in Europe, the French government has stepped up its security since the September 11th, 2001, attacks on the United States and the March 11th attacks this year in Spain.

The government received several warnings earlier this year by alleged terrorist groups, which threatened to bomb the country's rail lines. The country has not suffered any major terrorist incident in recent years.