Man who allegedly lived with Bali bombers not linked to bombings, police says

Australia said an investigation into this month's attacks on three crowded Bali restaurants was making progress, even as the island's police chief played down the significance of the only arrest made so far.

Bali police chief I Made Mangku Pastika said Wednesday a 45-year-old construction worker who allegedly lived with the three suicide bombers in the lead-up to the Oct. 1 attacks was "a zero, not even a small fish."

The man, identified only as Hasan, was tracked down in the neighboring province of East Java over the weekend and was returned to Bali for questioning. Under Indonesia's anti-terror laws, authorities have seven days to charge or release him.

"So far, we haven't learned anything significant from Hasan," said Pastika, adding that the man will be held for questioning for several more days. "He says he does not know any of the bombers."

The al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah is believed to be involved in the triple suicide bombings that killed 23 people, including the attackers, and in a terrorist strike on the same tropical island three years ago Wednesday that claimed 202 lives, many of them foreign tourists.

Australia, which lost 88 citizens in the 2002 attack and four more on Oct. 1, has been working closely with Indonesian authorities to track down the perpetrators.

After attending a memorial service for the victims on Wednesday in Bali, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told reporters that investigators were "making progress, but it will take time ... I can understand that," reports the AP. I.L.

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