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Bomb Explosion Injures 11 in Jakarta Airport - 2003-04-27

A small bomb has exploded at the airport in Indonesia's capital, injuring at least 11 people. So far authorities have not said who they think is responsible for the attack.

The bomb exploded early Sunday near a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the departures area of Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta international airport. Police sealed off the area surrounding the blast, where broken glass lay scattered and the restaurant's furniture was toppled over. Police said the bomb was intended to create a climate of fear. They have not yet said who might be responsible for the attack.

But officials have said that some of the materials used in the bomb appear similar to those used in another bombing earlier this week. A small bomb exploded under a bridge Thursday near the United Nations office in Jakarta. No one was injured in that attack. It is not known whether the bombers meant to target the U.N. office.

Bombings occur sporadically in Indonesia. Some are linked to politics, others appear to be related to organized crime.

Last October, however, a bomb attack on the island of Bali killed more than 200 people, many of them foreign tourists. It was Indonesia's worst terrorism attack. The government has arrested at least 30 people in connection with that attack, most of them suspected of being part of Jemaah Islamiyah, an extremist Muslim group.

The group's leader, cleric Abu Bakar Bashir went on trial a few days ago for his alleged involvement in a series of bombings in Indonesia, and a failed plot to bomb Westerns interests in Singapore. He denies the charges.

Sunday's bombing at the airport comes just days after the United States Embassy in Jakarta announced that it was allowing the families of its diplomatic staff to return to the Indonesian capital. The embassy ordered more than 200 of its employees' family members to leave the country after the Bali bombing.

A U.S. Embassy official in Jakarta says it is unlikely that the airport bombing will affect the decision to allow families to return. But the official said the embassy constantly reviews Indonesia's security situation.