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Jakarta Police Investigating Three Mail Bombs


Police bomb personnel inspect the site where a book containing a bomb exploded while police were inspecting the package at the office of a moderate Islamic group in Jakarta, March 15, 2011

Police bomb personnel inspect the site where a book containing a bomb exploded while police were inspecting the package at the office of a moderate Islamic group in Jakarta, March 15, 2011

Jakarta Police suspect one organization or person is responsible for sending three bombs hidden in books to different locations in Jakarta, Tuesday. Only one of the three bombs exploded, injuring five people including a police officer who was attempting to defuse it.

Police are saying that the three bombs discovered in Jakarta are the work of terrorists, although they would not speculate on who was responsible for the attack.

One of the bombs went to the Islamic Liberal Network Utan Kayu, a group that supports the separation of religion and state. The bomb was apparently targeting Ulil Abshar Abdhalla, who was the group's former coordinator and is now a member of the ruling Democratic Party.

He says he was active in the issue of religion and religious freedom a long time ago, but does not know why this would happen now.

The bomb was placed in a hole carved into a large book entitled, "They Should be Killed for Their Sins against Islam and the Muslims". As a local police officer attempted to defuse the bomb, it exploded injuring the officer and four other people.

The second bomb was sent to Gories Mere, the chief of the National Narcotics Agency and who was formerly the head of Indonesia's Densus 88 anti-terror police unit.

The third bomb was sent to the Pemuda Pancasila youth organization Chairman Yapto Soerjosoemarno. His group has been associated with hard line tactics in support of former President's Suharto's Golkar party and is seen by many as a rival to some Muslim fundamentalist organizations.

The two other bombs were successfully defused.

Jakarta Police Chief Sutarman says the three bombs were all encased in books. He says the title of the book delivered to Yapto's residence is different but the book titles sent to the Narcotics Agency and Utan Kayu are the same.

The vast majority of Indonesian Muslims are moderate, but a radical fringe supporting Islamic law has become increasingly vocal in recent years. Last month, three members of the Muslim Ahmadiyah sect were killed by a mob of extremists claiming to defend Islam.

The latest explosion was the first bomb attack in the Indonesian capital since suicide bombings of two hotels in July 2009 that killed eight people and wounded 50 others.

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