Small bomb in Indonesia's shopping mall

Small bomb in Indonesia's shopping mall

JAKARTA - Fear struck a busy shopping mall in Depok, West Java, as a bomb exploded on Monday evening in a men's toilet. No casualties were reported in the incident.

The explosion, which occurred at a children's play area on the second floor of ITC Depok Mall, caused panic among shoppers.

"I was very shocked. The sound of the explosion was very loud," said Djoko, an ITC Depok visitor who ran for safety outside the mall building, as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday

The bomb squad, Gegana, from the National police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) in nearby Kelapa Dua, Depok, was dispatched to the scene to secure the area.

Jakarta Police spokesman Martinus Sitompul said there was no need for alarm as the explosion had an extremely low impact.

"It was a bang like the bursting of a balloon," he said. "The police are still working at the scene to identify the components of the bomb and to uncover a motive."

Depok Deputy Mayor Idris Abdul Shomad said at 5:30 p.m. a visitor reported a suspicious package in the toilet to mall security.

"After reporting the finding, the mall security personnel rushed to secure the area along with the police. They located the package, and the police bomb squad was dealing with the situation," he said.

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the package consisted of wires, a timer, batteries and a type of liquid. "The police are still combing the mall looking for other devices," he said.

Depok, a satellite city to the south of Jakarta, is known to have harboured Islamic militants in the past.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has waged a campaign against radicalism and terrorism since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including foreign tourists.

The authorities have detained more than 700 suspected terrorists and their accomplices and have killed more than 65 others.

The country has not witnessed any major attack since 2009 when terrorists linked to al-Qaeda offshoot, Jamaah Islamiyah, attacked the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, killing seven people and seriously injuring dozens.

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