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Hunt for bombs as new alert issued for Bali DENPASAR - Indonesian police are hunting terrorists who have prepared two bombs, and hope to apprehend the suspects before the October 12 anniversary of last year's Bali bombings, the island's police chief said. The announcement comes as a new warning was issued today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about the risk of more terrorist attacks on Bali.
Police have arrested a series of alleged militants in recent weeks, many of whom are suspected members of Jemaah Islamiah, the al-Qaeda linked group implicated in the Bali attack, which killed 202 people. Major General I Made Pastika, who led the investigation into the twin nightclub bombings, said officers believed an unspecified number of militants were in possession of two unexploded bombs.
``Our police officers, and our Bali bomb investigation team is still working very hard to find out where they are,'' Pastika said. ``Hopefully ... all the people who are going to explode those bombs we can arrest before October 12.'' Australia, which lost 88 of its citizens in the Bali blasts, is planning to commemorate the attack with a religious ceremony on the island.
The families of those killed in the blasts are invited to the event, which will be attended by Prime Minister John Howard and several Indonesian officials. Jemaah Islamiah has also been blamed for last month's attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that killed 12 people. Police have arrested nearly 50 suspects in both attacks, though several key suspects in the strikes are believed to be at large.
The larger Bali blast came from a car bomb, while a smaller device at a second club was detonated by a suspected suicide bomber. The Marriott blast originated from a car bomb that exploded outside the hotel's lobby. Security at office buildings, hotels and bars across Indonesia has been stepped up sharply since the Marriott attack.
The fresh travel warning by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advised Australians to defer non-essential travel to Bali, but conceded that many may ignore these warnings in light of planned commemorative services on October 12. ``Australians planning to visit Bali to attend the commemorative services should note that the Government continues to recommend that Australians defer non-essential travel (to Bali),'' it warned. ``We continue to receive reports that further attacks are being planned.
``The Government is mindful, however, that many of these Australians may judge their attendance at the commemorative services to be essential travel, and is supporting family members of victims and survivors who choose to travel to Bali.'' The statement also said that while the Australian Government is working with Indonesia on security arrangements for the Bali commemoration, the threat to Australians remains high.
``Jemaah Islamiyah continue to have the capability and intent to mount attacks in the region. The threat extends beyond the formal commemorative venues and events.''



Posted in Terrorism @ 24 September 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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