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Bali Blasts Kill More Than Two Dozen in Indonesia

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyno headed to the resort island of Bali late Saturday shortly after three near simultaneous bomb blasts killed at least 25 people and injured dozens of others.

Two of the bombs went off at Jimbaran, a popular beach area crammed with restaurants frequented by foreigners. Another explosion ripped through the Kuta area, which is also popular with foreign and local visitors.

The attacks come less than 3 weeks before the third anniversary of the 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali that claimed 202 lives, many of them foreigners.

The regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah is blamed for those attacks as well as the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 that killed 12 people, and the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta that claimed 10 lives.

Foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa says Saturday's bombings look like the work of terrorists.

"Given the simultaneous nature of the explosions, it would appear to be the planned work of terrorists, but that needs to be confirmed in the hours ahead," said Marty Natalegawa.

The Indonesian president quickly condemned the bombings and headed to Bali within hours of the explosions.

Local television showed pictures of the injured, collapsed buildings, and streets strewn with debris.

The foreign ministry spokesman, Mr. Marty, says if the bombings are the work of terrorists, he hopes the terrorists will not succeed in driving people away from Bali, a popular tourist destination.

"This is again an attempt, probably if confirmed, an attempt at causing terror and fear among the public in Indonesia and among visitors who are coming to Indonesia," he said. "For those people, especially those attempting to come to Indonesia, we would like to appeal to them to stand by us as we have when attacks took place in New York, London, and Madrid and not to isolate us."

The bombings come just after several governments, including the United States and the Indonesian authorities warned of a high threat of a terrorist attack in the country during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.