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Indonesian Police Make First Arrest in Latest Bali Bombing


Indonesian police say they have made their first arrest in the triple suicide bombing on the island of Bali earlier this month. They said the suspect was a roommate of one of the three suicide bombers who killed themselves and 20 innocent bystanders in three restaurants. The attacks have been blamed on Islamic extremists.

During the past 10 days, the police have been hunting a number of known associates of Islamic extremists, and they have announced their first arrest. They provided no name for the arrested individual, although they said his initials were H.S. A spokesman said the man was a construction worker who had shared a rented room in the Balinese capital, Denpasar, with one of the suicide bombers.

Twenty people were killed and more than 100 injured when three suicide bombers walked into crowded tourist restaurants October 1st on the holiday island of Bali.

The heads of the bombers survived the blasts, and the police have published pictures of them in the hope that they will be recognized. Police said they are still searching for the identities of the three young men. They believe they were not acting alone, and they hope that learning who the bombers were will lead to the masterminds behind the plot.

The arrest makes it appear they are closing in on their goal. Deputy National Police spokesman Soenarko Artanto made the announcement to journalists in Bali Tuesday afternoon.

He says the arrested man is strongly suspected of having links with the Bali bombings.

Police have declined to formally accuse Islamic militants of being behind the bombings, but they have said they are searching for a number of known associates of extremists involved in other bombings.

The recent attacks follow a pattern set in Bali three years ago this Wednesday, when militants of the regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah bombed two popular nightspots on Bali, killing 202 people, most of them young Western tourists.

Three-quarters of the victims of the latest attacks were Indonesians, but three Australians and a Japanese tourist were also among the dead.

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