The explosion in Jakarta

The authenticity of Jemaah Islamiyah's claim of responsibility for Thursday's Jakarta bomb on an Islamic website cannot be confirmed. There are strong indications, however, that the militant network that wants to turn south-east Asia into an Islamic state was responsible for the explosion that killed nine people and injured some 180. Australian and Indonesian police agree the bombers' modus operandi was extremely similar to that of the Bali bombings in 2002, which killed 202 people, and the bomb at Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel in August 2003, which killed 12. The chemicals found at the three bomb sites were also almost identical - mostly potassium chloride and TNT - and so were the tactics. A vehicle is packed with the rudimentary but effective device and parked immediately in front of the selected target before being detonated, usually with the driver still at the wheel. One of the loudest questions being heard in Indonesia is why the bombings are continuing. It is almost as if one bombing is a tragedy, two in 10 months is unfortunate but three in two years is bordering on the unacceptable, informs Guardian Unlimited. According to Reuters, Indonesian police have launched a nationwide manhunt for al Qaeda-linked militants blamed for a suicide car bomb attack outside the Australian embassy that jolted both countries ahead of elections. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said intelligence agencies had warned that those responsible for the attack in Jakarta on Thursday could strike again. "The information they have available indicates that the number of operatives ... is sufficiently large to support the fear that there could be another attack," Howard told reporters in Canberra. Indonesian police have blamed Jemaah Islamiah, a militant group seen as the regional arm of al Qaeda, for the embassy attack, which killed nine people and wounded 182. Most of the victims were Indonesian. At least one suicide bomber stopped a mini-van packed with explosives outside the embassy, where it detonated, police said. Thursday's bombing underlined the vulnerability of the world's most populous Muslim nation to militant violence. It came days before Indonesia's presidential run-off, two days before the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States and a month before Australia's general election. Jemaah Islamiah was behind the Bali bombings in 2002 that killed 202 people and also an attack on the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta last year that killed 12. It appeared to admit responsibility for the embassy attack in an Internet statement that could not immediately be authenticated. The statement warned of more attacks unless Australia withdrew its forces from Iraq. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi condemned here Thursday the deadly car bombing attack outside Australia's embassy in Jakarta that killed and injured innocent people. Asefi expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, the nation and government of Indonesia, said the Information and Press Department of the Foreign Ministry. He said that the attack is unjustifiable and called for cooperation of international community to eradicate terrorism, reports Tehran Times. Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru

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