Bombs have exploded devastating the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotels in the Indonesian Capitol of Jakarta.
The bombs are believed to have exploded minutes from each other, one in the basement car park of the Marriott and one on the first floor restaurant of the Ritz Carlton . Casualties reported so far include 35 injured and nine killed including a suspected suicide bomberPresident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has visited the scene and condemned “the cruel and inhuman attack”..
He added “This act of terrorism… will have wide effects on our economy, trade, tourism and image in the eyes of the world.”
The homemade bombs were placed in the busy business center of the capitol and went off as many people were arriving at work or in breakfast meetings. Reports have indicated that many foreigners were hurt in the blasts including a New Zealander and an Australian.
Witness claim to have seen debris and glass fly followed by reports of bodies inside the Marriott. “I heard two sounds like ‘boom, boom’ coming from the Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton - then I saw people running out” said a security guard
This is the second attack on the JW Marriott following an attack in 2003 when 12 people were killed and coincides with the release of Jemaah Islamiah terrorists who were responsible for 2002 and 2005 bombings that’s killed 225 people, 25 of whom were Australian. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.
A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute made recently said, “We argue that two recent developments - the current leadership tensions and the release from prison of former JI members - at least raise the possibility that splinter factions might now seek to re-energise the movement through violent attacks.”
A Marriott statement said: “At approximately 7:48 a.m. local time, explosions occurred at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Police responded immediately and sealed off the area.
Guests at both hotels have been evacuated. The guests have been moved to a secure location.
We are monitoring the situation and are working closely with the authorities. As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is a high priority.”
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families of this tragic incident.”