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Police detain man after market bombing PALU - Indonesian police have detained a man and tightened road blocks around the city of Palu in a hunt for those responsible for killing seven people in a nail bomb attack on a Christian market on New Year's Eve. Police said on Sunday that several locations in Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province in the country's east, had also been raided. They declined to give details.

The man, who was about 40, was detained on Saturday near the site of the blast but had not been named a suspect, police said. "We are interrogating one person intensively. Based on what witnesses said, he was around the crime scene before the bomb blast asking questions of people there," deputy national police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam told a news conference in Jakarta.

The blast in a Christian market selling pork meat came after warnings of militant violence during the Christmas and New Year season in the world's most populous Muslim nation. Pork is forbidden to Muslims, who account for some 85 percent of Indonesia's people, but the east of the country has large pockets of Christians.

Alam said police had no motive yet for the attack in Palu, 1,650 km (1,030 miles) northeast of Jakarta. Police reinforcements had been sent to help with the probe, he added. Analysts have said the blast was probably linked to attempts to stoke tension in the region.

Police have said the detained man had been acting suspiciously near the market the day before the blast. He had not been seen in the area before and was asking store keepers questions about where they lived. Some 54 people were wounded in the attack, many by nails packed into the homemade bomb. Alam said 27 witnesses had been questioned.

Roadblocks set up around Palu a few months ago -- part of security preparations for various Muslim and Christian holidays -- had been tightened, added Rais Adam, police spokesman in Central Sulawesi. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the bombing. In a New Year address on Saturday night, Yudhoyono said the country had to be on guard for more attacks.


Link to related event Related event:
Central Sulawesi conflict

Related blog entry (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entry (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
31 December 2005 · Bomb blast kills seven in Palu


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 01 January 2006 10:51 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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