Jakarta shocked by deadly bombings days before Ramadhan

Jakarta shocked by deadly bombings days before Ramadhan
PHOTO: Reuters

Only hours before Jakartans looked forward to enjoying the Ascension of Jesus Christ public holiday, a twin bomb attack struck the Kampung Melayu Transjakarta bus terminal on Wednesday night.

Two suspected suicide bombers died instantly, the police said.

At least five policemen who were escorting a traditional parade to welcome the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan also fell victim, three of whom are reported to have died. At least five civilians were also injured.

The terrorist attack took place while the world was still mourning the victims of the suicide bombing of the concert by US pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester, UK, only a day before.

The busy Transjakarta bus rapid transit hub in East Jakarta and the surrounding area descended into chaos after the explosions. The terminal is located in a densely populated area.

Footage and pictures of the scene have gone viral on social media. Some of the footage shows people panicking, screaming and running away from the terminal. Other images depict scattered body parts.

Traffic around the scene was blocked off and rerouted.

Police officers place tape near covered up human remains at the Kampung Melayu bus terminal in East Jakarta after a bomb blast on Wednesday.
Photo: AFP

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto said one explosion occurred at a motorcycle parking lot.

"The glass at the corridor seven [bus stop], where passengers alight, was smashed to pieces," Transjakarta president director Budi Kaliwono said, adding that the Transjakarta service would continue, but would not stop at Kampung Melayu.

He added that no Transjakarta staff or passengers were among the casualties and urged members of the public to immediately report any suspicious activities.

The injured victims were treated at the Premier Hospital and Hermina Hospital in East Jakarta.

As of midnight, no claim of responsibility for the attack had been received.

Setyo said he was optimistic the police would be able to identify the perpetrators and any possible terrorist ring soon.

"The body parts [of the attackers] remain at the scene. The parts from the neck above are still intact so the face can be identified," he said.

The attack is believed to have been targeted at the police, making it the latest terror attack to have targeted the police in recent years.

On Jan. 14, 2016, Jakarta was rocked by multiple explosions, including one at a police post, and gunfire around the Sarinah shopping mall in Central Jakarta. At least eight people, including four attackers and four civilians, were killed. A total of 20 people were injured, including five police officers.

Setyo said the police had detected possible attacks in Jakarta. "We were not able yet to identify when or where [they might happen]," he said.

Setyo said the police suspected the perpetrators of the attack were related to terror groups behind other attacks in other countries, including the Manchester bombing.

#PrayForJakarta and #KamiTidakTakut (We are not afraid) emerged on the worldwide internet trending topic list immediately after the incident.

"Everyone, please stay safe! #PrayforJakarta," Singer-songwriter Raisa posted on her twitter handle @Raisa6690, which has been retweeted by more than 1,000 users as of 1 a.m. on Thursday.

"Deep condolences over bombing act in Kampung Melayu, Jakarta. Please don't share any unverified information," official Twitter Indonesia account @TwitterID posted.

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