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JAKARTA HOTELS BOMBINGS KILLED 9

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At least 9 people, including 4 foreigners, have been killed in an almost simultaneous double explosion at two luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Friday 07/17/2009 at about 07:30. Over 50 people had been taken to hospital with injuries. At least 17 foreigners were among the wounded, including 8 Americans.

South Jakarta police Colonel Firman Bundi said four foreigners were killed in the Friday morning blasts at the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels. The Marriott Hotel was already a subject to a suicide car bomb attack on 08/05/2003.

Police have confirmed the blasts, but not yet said if they were caused by bombs. Hundreds of people had been evacuated from the area surrounding the two hotels which are located close to each other in the heart of the capital’s business district.

Debris and shattered glass could be seen on the streets outside the hotels and reports said the Ritz’s façade had been destroyed. A man jogging by the hotels said he first heard a loud explosion at the Marriott before another followed at the Ritz five minutes later.

There have not been any major bomb blasts in Indonesia for several years, and the country’s presidential election earlier this month was peaceful.  That attack had come amid a crackdown by Indonesian authorities on the INDONESIAN JI group blamed for several high profile attacks in Southeast Asia.

* Initial investigation

* Police confirmed, on Friday 07/17/2009 at about 10:00 local time, that the two explosions were caused by suicide bombers. Police also said another, unexploded, bomb had also been found at the Marriott hotel. Nanan Soekarna, a police spokesman, said that the devices were packed with nails, ball bearings, nuts and bolts.

* Presidential adviser Djali Yusuf told the AFP news agency that the unexploded bomb had been found in what he called the “control centre” of the attacks – room 1808 in the Marriott – where a laptop and other explosives material was discovered, which suggests that at least one of the attackers or their operators was a guest in the hotel the night before the attack. 
* To read about the whole investigation click –  Jakarta Investigation 
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