Friday, July 17, 2009

Deadly Blasts Hit Two Luxury Hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia

Via CNN -

The death toll from bombings at two luxury hotels Friday morning in south Jakarta, Indonesia, has risen to eight, a presidential spokesman said. The number of wounded people was in the 40s, the spokesman said.

Antara News, a state-run agency, quoted a witness as saying he saw four foreigners among the wounded.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel was to have accommodated soccer players from Manchester United of Britain, who are expected to arrive Saturday in Jakarta on Saturday.

The victims were taken to nearby MMC Hospital and Jakarta Hospital, the agency reported.

Police sealed off the area around both blasts, one of which occurred in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the other at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, about 50 meters away, about 7:50 a.m. (8:50 p.m. Thursday ET).

"There was a boom and the building shook, and then subsequently two more," said hotel guest Don Hammer, who was leaving his room in the Marriott when the blast occurred.

"The shocking part was entering the lobby, where the glass at the front of the hotel was all blown out and blood was spattered across the floor, but most people were leaving calmly."


Greg Woolstencroft had just walked past the hotels and had gone to his nearby apartment when he heard an explosion.

"I looked out my window and I saw a huge cloud of brownish smoke go up," he told CNN in a telephone interview. "I grabbed my iPhone to go downstairs ... and then the second bomb went off at the Ritz-Carlton, so I then ran around to the Ritz-Carlton and I was able to find that there had been a massive bomb that went off in this ... restaurant area and the explosion had blown out both sides of the hotel.

"I found inside the body of of what appears to be a suicide bomber, it looked like someone who had been a suicide bomber or someone who had been very, very close to the explosion.
"I also noticed that there were a number of injured people being taken off to hospital, but I only noticed one dead person at this point and time, that's all I saw. There has been extensive damage to both buildings, and at this point and time of course all the authorities are blocking up all the area and starting an investigation."

He added, "It's obviously targeted establishments where there are Westerners and expats ... I can only assume it's something to try and send a message."


According to Stratfor....

Militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is a feasible perpetrator for the attacks.

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