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Indonesian President Heads to Scene of Deadly Bali Bombing - 2002-10-13

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and members of her cabinet are heading to the resort island of Bali where a car bomb has killed more than 180 people in an apparent terrorist attack. The attack occurred in Kuta, a popular tourist area of Bali.

Scores of people are cutting their holidays short and leaving Bali after a bomb rocked Legian Street, a popular tourist strip of bars and restaurants, during the heart of Saturday night.

The bomb went off in front of the Sari Club, a bar popular with young travelers. Some witnesses say there were two explosions in quick succession. Twenty-three year-old Ginni Brucki and her friend arrived in Bali Saturday afternoon. Waiting at the airport Sunday morning, she said they are returning home to Australia as soon as they can after their frightening experience. "The bomb went off, the first one was smaller and then the second one just exploded and the windows at our hotel and the roof started coming in, the tiles. And the lights just blacked out. And there was running and screaming and just fire," she said. "All you could see coming over was fire and flames, like an explosion. We didn't know what it was, everyone was saying it was gas or something but we didn't have any idea."

The shock was shared by 25 year-old American Amos Libby. He has been in Bali six weeks and intended to stay two more. He is also camped out at the airport waiting to leave. I have never seen anything so horrible, you guys you should tell people about it because there were so many people, 18 to 20 year-old people, that are in pieces all over the street," he said. "For what? For nothing. I understand that people have grievances with government or whatever, but man!"

Officials around the region including Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Australian Prime Minister John Howard have condemned the bombing as a despicable act of terror.

On Legian street, scores of people, Indonesian and foreign alike, gathered to try to piece together what had happened - while the Indonesian bomb squad cordoned off the area near the crater left by the blast.

Every building in at least a 300 meter radius was virtually destroyed in the explosion. The streets are littered with broken glass and blood.

In a number of clinics in the nearby city of Denpasar, many people are apprehensive they may find a loved one or friend on the whiteboards listing the names of the dead. Although the location of the bomb suggests it was intended to target Westerners, scores of Indonesians are also among the victims.

One Indonesian man has not found his friend's name on the list of the dead, but he is ready to give up hope. He said he thinks his friend was blown apart, something that would be difficult to see.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.