1045582p A pair of powerful bombs exploded at two luxury hotels in an upscale Jakarta business district Friday, leaving 9 dead, including several foreigners, and wounding at least 50, officials said. The blasts at the neighbouring Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels blew out windows and scattered debris and glass across the street.

At the Metropolitan Medical Center, a list of 29 names was posted of people it said were also wounded. While a hospital official says 48 were wounded, including 11 foreigners. There have not been any major bomb blasts in Indonesia for several years, and this month the country’s presidential election passed off peacefully.

Debris and shattered glass littered the street outside, and ambulances were being shuttled into the area.Alex Asmasubrata, who was jogging by the hotels, said he first heard a loud explosion at the Marriott. Five minutes later, a bomb followed at the Ritz. He saw four bodies inside the Marriott, including one with its stomach blown out.

The Marriott hotel was attacked in 2003, when 12 died. Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed in that blast.

‘There were explosions heard from two separate places, one the JW Marriott, the other in the Ritz Carlton. We are still trying to check because right now we are still helping the victims,’ said South Jakarta Police Chief Firman Santyabudi.The explosions rocked the area around 8 am (0100 GMT, 9am Malaysian time) near the site of a 2003 bombing by Islamist militants of the JW Marriott hotel, which killed 12 people.

Witnesses at the scene told Metro TV that the injured, including Indonesians and foreigners, were seen being taken away in ambulances. Police sealed off the area near the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott hotels, an AFP correspondent said. Windows had been blown out of a second-storey restaurant at the Ritz Carlton. — AP, REUTERS

LATEST: Australia issues travel warning: Canberra – Australia’s government issued a fresh travel warning for Indonesia on Friday after bomb attacks on two Jakarta hotels. ‘We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the very high threat of terrorist attack,’ the warning from Australia’s foreign ministry said. (REUTERS)




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