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Bomb hits Aceh before Megawati visit BANDA ACEH - A bomb was thrown near the airport in Indonesia's restive province of Aceh on Wednesday, just hours before President Megawati Sukarnoputri was due to visit, police said. They said a man threw what appeared to be a homemade bomb from a car around two kilometres from the Banda Aceh airport where Megawati was due to arrive around 1.00 p.m. (0600 GMT).
"Around 7 o'clock this morning...a bomb was thrown on to the street. The perpetrator has not been found. There were no casualties," Taufik Sugiyono, a spokesman for the Aceh police, told reporters, adding the suspect had driven off in the car. Sugiyono said security had been tightened ahead of the president's visit and around 3,000 policemen and troops were guarding the airport in the resource-rich province that lies about 1,700 kilometres northwest of Jakarta.
Separatist rebels have been fighting in Aceh for decades but officials say the president is only scheduled to stay there for an hour and the conflict, which last year alone claimed around 2,000 victims, will not be on the agenda. They say she will inaugurate Aceh's first local airline in a private ceremony before flying to Medan, in North Sumatra, for another official engagement.
Police have been holding a British and an American woman in Aceh for the past two weeks after detaining them in a routine security sweep of the southern part of the province. Authorities say Briton Lesley McCulloch and American Joy Lee Sadler were found with material on the Free Aceh Rebels which suggested they had misused their tourist visas.
McCulloch and Sadler face a maximum penalty of five years in jail if found guilty of immigration offences. Both women have denied links with the rebels and also having separatist documents in their possession.



Posted in Aceh conflict @ 25 September 2002 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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