Three Indonesian police officers were killed in two explosions near a bus station in Jakarta
Jakarta,May25:At least three Indonesian police officers were killed in two explosions near a bus station in the country’s Capital Jakarta on Wednesday, Reuters reported. At least 10 people, including five police officers, were injured in the incident at Kampung Melayu terminal, the police said.
The explosions were triggered by two suicide bombers, said National Police spokesperson Setyo Wasisto. Investigators said the explosives were packed into pressure cookers.
“The police officers were on duty to guard a group of people who were holding a parade,” Wasisto told the media. “The parade hadn’t passed yet when the blast happened. The two suspects were both male. Their identities will be released later.”
The explosions have yet to be claimed by any radical group. The Islamic State group has carried out several low-intensity attacks in the country since 2016.
The explosions went off minutes apart on Wednesday night at Jakarta’s Kampung Melayu terminal, police said.
“Initially I heard a loud bang I thought it was burst tyre. I saw many people gathered and taking pictures with their mobile phones. I approached them to find out what happened and I saw a severed arm on the street,” said fruit seller Ardi Maulana.
Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said three officers were killed and 10 people wounded and are receiving medical care. Five were police and five were civilians.
“There were two blasts at around 9pm, close to each other, there are three victims,” Andry Wibowo, East Jakarta police chief, told TV station MetroTV.
“From the damage I can see the explosions were pretty big.”
Another witness, Sultan Muhammad Firdaus, told local television station Kompas TV he had heard two explosions.
“I was on a flyover and then I heard the first explosion,” he said. “There was a 10-minute gap between the two explosions.
Indonesia has long been fighting armed groups but in recent years hundreds have flocked to fight for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.
In 2016, a gun-and-suicide attack in Jakarta left four attackers and four civilians dead in the first assault claimed by ISIL, also known as ISIS, in Southeast Asia.
“This is the biggest attack in the capital since last year,” Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen said, reporting from Jakarta. “Police say they were on high alert after the attack in Manchester and they were expecting something. They only didn’t know what was going to happen and where.”
Authorities in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation are increasingly worried about a surge in “radicalism”, driven in part by a new generation of fighters inspired by ISIL.
While most of the attacks have been poorly organised, authorities believe about 400 Indonesians have gone to join the group in Syria, and could pose a more lethal threat if they come home.
Indonesia has suffered a series of attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.