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Several Killed in Explosion Outside Indonesian Hotel

August 05, 2003|From Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An explosion outside a Marriott hotel in downtown Jakarta killed as many as four people today, local radio reports said.

"I saw four badly burned bodies on the street," a reporter from Jakarta's El Shinta radio station said, adding that two cars nearby were on fire.

It was not immediately clear if the blast was caused by a bomb.

Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang, a police spokesman, said officers were on their way to the hotel.

Black smoke could be seen rising from the front of the hotel, located in a district that includes many foreign embassies, an Associated Press reporter on the scene said.

The hotel lobby's windows and some in upper floors were shattered, but it was not immediately clear how badly the structure was damaged.

Since last year's terrorist bombings in Bali, which killed 202 people, authorities have warned of more attacks.

One of the targets of that attack, Paddy's Bar, reopened over the weekend, staffed by several waiters who were working on the night of the incident.

Hundreds of mostly Australian tourists and expatriates packed the bar, which returned to business 100 yards up the street from its original site.

The Bali attack has been blamed on Jemaah Islamiah, an Al Qaeda-linked group that allegedly wants to establish an Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

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