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Bomb bxplosion rattles Jakarta JAKARTA - A TNT bomb (trinitrotoluene) of terrifying strength, exploded in front of the Philippine Ambassador's, Leonides T. Caday, residence on Jalan Imam Bonjol, Central Jakarta, and opposite the General Election Institute (LPU), Tuesday noon (1/8).

Aside from damaging several buildings within a radius of 300 meter, the explosion which could be felt within 2-3 kilometer from the location, killed two people and injured around 21 persons including Ambassador Leonides T. Caday. The Ambassador was injured by steel fragments and is suffering from several bone fractures in his legs. The explosion of the powerful bomb around 12.30 damaged buildings in the surroundings of the incident, including a row of houses on Jalan Imam Bonjol. Nearly all homes in the vicinity of the Philippine Ambassador's residence suffered damages. Apart from broken rooftiles and window panes, the explosion caused cracks in several homes. Doors were unhinged and splintered ceilings came down.

One of the more seriously damaged buildings, is the Bulgarian Embassy located on the eastern part of the Philippine Envoy's home. Bank Bumi Putera, Dunkin Donuts, and the window of a car showroom on Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto (Menteng) lay in shambles, fragments and bits of pieces on the ground.

Trees nearby the center of explosion went up in flames. Other trees shed their leaves, forming a carpet of green in a part of Jalan Imam Bonjol. "It's just awesome! It exploded with a thunderous clap, then there was fire and a streak of lightning. The heat was unbearable, and the impact of the crash could be felt in the office," said an employee of the General Election Institute which is located right across the site of the incident. Around 25 cars parked at the General Election office yard were destroyed. Car windows broke on impact of the explosion, their bodies hopelessly dented. Some employees of the General Election office were also injured by flying debris of car windows.

Bomb in car

A number of eyewitnesses said that the bomb went off around 12.30. It is strongly suspected that the bomb was planted in a Suzuki car - probably of the Katana type - parked in front of the Philippine Ambassador's home. Several versions are going around about the exact time of the bomb explosion. The first one claims that the bomb went off at the time the Ambassador was about to enter his home. In other words, when the Ambassador's car and the bomb infested car reached an aligned position, the bomb exploded.

Another version has it that the bomb carrier intercepted the car of the Ambassador before the explosion. The explosion totally destroyed the car that carried the bomb. Fragments of the car, its engine, wheel rims, pieces of the car body lay scattered over a radius of more than ten meter. At the site of the explosion, a hole of about 1 x 2 meter has formed.

"It has a diameter nearly as long as the Suzuki car," the Chief Forensic Department of Police Headquarters, Brigadier General Erwin MAP said while indicating with his hands the size of the bomb crater. Inspectors found several components at the bomb crater. The explosion also busted a fresh water pipe near location.

Soon after the explosion, white smoke in the form of a mushroom became visible in the area of Jalan Blora, and Hotel Indonesia, some 300 meter from the site of the incident. A Taft Ranger had hit a tree. Falima, (24), the driver of the Taft said, the sound of the explosion sent his car in a skid which he could not control. A cab, Koperasi Taxi, also got stuck on the roadside with hollow windows.

The District Police Chief, Metro Jaya Inspector General Nurfaizi drew attention on the fact that they were still in the dark about the motif of the bombing. He was also reluctant to link the incident with a similar explosion at the Attorney General Office, or with the present political situation approaching the Annual Session of the Assembly. The District Police Chief also said that investigations about the possibility of an attack on the Philippine Ambassador are still going on. "Everything is possible. But, I will not step up to politics," Nurfaizi said at the bombing site.

Victims

The incident took two lives, Sofyan Hendrawan, a security guard of the Philippine Embassy who was killed instantly. The second victim, was a woman. The General Hospital's Director, dr. Ichramsyah AR explained that 21 victims entered the Emergency Sector because of injuries from the bomb explosion.

"The Philippine Ambassador is conscious, his condition is on the whole quite good. In terms of physical well being that is, he is not suffering from trauma in the area of his lungs and heart. His driver is also undergoing a physical checkup, but he is also awake," Ichramsyah explained, mentioning that the Philippine Ambassador had requested to be moved to Medistra Hospital.

Ichramsyah explained further that out of all the victims, one is seriously injured and requires special treatment, the victim is still unconscious. Another victim, middle aged, appeared to be suffering from a bad burn on his head, but, he did not loose consciousness.

Chief Police, General Roesdihardjo, in company of the Detective Corps Commander, Inspector General Chaerudin Ismail, said after visiting the Philippine Ambassador that the envoy had not received threats or anything of a suspicious nature. The Ambassador had always experienced peace and order in this country.

The Police Chief regretted the incident as it would certainly damage the Indonesian image abroad. "I don't understand why people like these acts of sadism," he said. The police is still investigating what bomb type had been used, while there are no pointers that the terrorist is connected to militant groups in the Philippines. "But, possibilities always exist. Investigations are going on," the Police Chief said.



Posted in Terrorism @ 02 August 2000 16:48 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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