Bali explosions carried out by suicide bombers leave 22 foreign tourists dead

An amateur video found by the police showed a suspected bomber strolling past diners moments before one of the blasts

The three explosions which ripped through restaurants on Bali killing more than 20 people and injuring more than 130 on Saturday night were caused by suicide bombers, the police chief on the Indonesian resort island said yesterday.

Two explosions tore through a crowded shopping center in Kuta Beach, while another explosion hit a seaside restaurant in the fishing village of Jimbaran Bay. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa blamed the attacks on two fugitive kingpins of a Southeast Asian militant group, Jemaah Islamiah, seen as al-Qaida's regional arm. Indonesian television carried chaotic images of rescuers pulling bleeding tourists from the ruins of the shopping center, which housed restaurants, surfer shops and clothing stores. The blasts struck the three-story Raja cafй and steakhouse and the Matahari department store.

Nightmare on Bali three years later: Photo gallery

The group, the most feared terrorist network in Southeast Asia, was behind the 2002 Bali attacks in which car-bombers killed 202 people in attacks on nightclubs in the tourist resort of Kuta, the scene of one of Saturday's explosions. The group has also been blamed for a bomb at the Marriott hotel in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, which killed 12 people in 2003, and a car bomb outside the Australian embassy last year, which killed 11.

An amateur video found by the police showed a suspected bomber strolling past diners moments before one of the blasts. One of the suspected bombers is seen walking determinedly past local and foreign tourists who are eating dinner, sipping drinks and chatting at candlelit tables at a noodle-and-steak restaurant in the bustling tourist centre of Kuta, AP reports.

He clutches his backpack, adjusts it slightly, and then disappears from the screen. Moments later there is a large blast, followed by smoke and the sound of terrified screams. Police said the video was part of their investigation.  “We have reached a conclusion that they were suicide bombings," Bali Police Chief Made Mangku Pastika said last night. "There is evidence that the explosive materials were attached to the body," General Pastika said, adding that the composition of the bombs included TNT and metal slugs. "There are pieces from either a jacket or a bag that were attached to the bodies. The pieces from their torsos spattered to all directions."

The police chief said the severed heads of three people believed to be the suicide bombers had been recovered. Photos of the heads displayed by police appeared to show they were young Asian men.

A Bali hospital official said on Monday that 16 of 27 dead had so far been identified - 14 Indonesians, one Australian and one Japanese. Hospital officials had said earlier that the wounded included 64 Indonesians, 20 Australians, seven South Koreans, four Americans, three Japanese, one French, and one German, with other nationalities unknown.

Bali, 960 km (595 miles) east of Jakarta, is Indonesia's most popular destination for foreign tourists.

Source: agencies

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Author`s name Olga Savka