According to Indonesian police say nine people have been killed and at least 50 others wounded in near simultaneous bombings at two luxury hotels in the capital, Jakarta Friday.
A government official says many of the victims at the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels were foreign nationals, but their identities have not been confirmed by police. The hotels are popular with Western tourists and visitors, Voice of America reports,
Bombings have been a familiar risk in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, but a security crackdown in recent years has made the country calmer and given it a sense of greater security. Past bombings have been blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, and coordinated attacks are a hallmark of groups associated with the terrorist network. But authorities say that ethnic tensions, politics or criminal enterprises could be at the root of the attacks, The Los Angeles Times reports.
A car bomb had also exploded along a toll road in north Jakarta, police said. Indonesia's Metro TV said two people had been killed. No further details on that blast were available, Reuters reports.
A hospital doctor said 18 people were injured in the blasts at the neighboring hotels in an upscale Jakarta neighborhood. Debris and shattered glass littered the street outside the hotels, and ambulances were being shuttled into the area, The Washington Post reports.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year