JAKARTA - Two suspected suicide bombers killed three Indonesian police officers and injured 10 people on Wednesday night (May 24) in twin blasts near a bus station in the eastern part of the capital, police said.
The blasts went off five minutes apart at Jakarta’s Kampung Melayu terminal, police said.
National Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said three officers had been killed, and that examination of the scene had shown that there appeared to have been two suicide bombers, not one as originally thought.
Five officers and five civilians were wounded, he said.
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Indonesia has suffered a series of mostly low-level attacks by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathisers in the last 17 months, but Wasisto said police had not confirmed any Islamist motive for Wednesday’s bombing.
“The police officers were on duty to guard a group of people who were holding a parade. The parade hadn’t passed yet when the blast happened,” Wasisto told a news conference.
“The two suspects were both male. Their identities will be released later,” he said.
Wasisto said the explosives appeared to have been packed into pressure cookers. A similar bomb was used in February in the city of Bandung by a lone attacker, killed by police, whom authorities suspected of having links to a radical network sympathetic to ISIS.
Transjakarta, the company that runs local bus services, tweeted at 9.40pm local time that it was a suicide bombing, but did not elaborate further.
Jakarta police spokesman Colonel Argo Yuwono said that the area had been sealed off for investigation.
The Straits Times understands that a 17-year-old private car driver and a 19-year-old student were among those who were seriously wounded.
According to eyewitnesses in the densely populated Kampung Melayu neighbourhood, the police officers were hit after two loud explosions were heard at about 9pm, reported Elshinta radio.
Various witnesses said the first and second blast occurred between five and 10 minutes apart near a bus terminal and a parking lot for motorcycles.
The bus terminal is a local hub served by minibuses and buses. It is a working class district of the city, not popular with foreigners or tourists.
The police have yet to determine the cause of the blasts, but photos and videos from the scene that circulated shortly after showed pieces of bloodied human flesh and dismembered body parts, including a limb and what appeared to be a severed head inside the Transjakarta bus terminal.
TV footage also showed smoke rising from the terminal and police rushing to carry casualties away from the scene. Large numbers of police officers were present and the site was cordoned off.
Police general Syafrudin said the policemen, including the officer who was killed in the blasts, had assembled in the area to secure a local community event.
The attack, which has yet to be claimed by any group, follows a familiar pattern of strikes targeted at the police by domestic militants in recent years.
An eyewitness, Sultan Muhammad Firdaus, told TV station Kompas TV he heard two explosions about 10 minutes apart.
“The explosions were quite loud, I could hear them clearly,” he said.
Another witness, Rohimat, told detik.com: "It was at the Kampung Melayu Terminal. Residents panicked, and ran."
He also said there was a strong smell after the blast.
A woman at the terminal, Rosmala, a shopkeeper who goes by only one name, told AFP: “At first I saw smoke and shattered glass, the earth was shaking, I was shocked. After a few minutes there was another blast."
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM REUTERS