Jakarta blasts: Duo stood behind crowd of bystanders, then opened fire

In a series of pictures taken by a Tempo photographer yesterday, at least one policeman was shown being gunned down by the two militants. The shooting took place at the intersection of two major roads in Jakarta's business district, where a crowd had
In a series of pictures taken by a Tempo photographer yesterday, at least one policeman was shown being gunned down by the two militants. PHOTO: TEMPO

JAKARTA • As people, including journalists and policemen, crowded around a police post after a bomb attack yesterday, two men stood calmly behind them.

Seconds later, the duo whipped out guns and started shooting at the policemen.

The people, who had thought the attacks were over, were shocked, running helter-skelter to escape the bullets. The surreal incident took place at the intersection of two major roads in the business district of Jakarta - Jalan M.H. Thamrin and Jalan K.H. Wahid Hasyim.

The crowd formed earlier as curious passers-by milled around the police post, where at least two bodies were sprawled on the road after the attack.

The small police hut was built on the road divider between the Sarinah shopping mall and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) tower. In a series of pictures taken by a Tempo photographer, at least one policeman was shown being gunned down by the duo.

News website Tempo said that one of the two militants pointed his weapon at the man and emptied his gun clip.

Another who was shot was a man wearing dark clothes who was photographed lying face up on the road, after everyone else had scattered.

A video recorded by a witness from an office tower nearby showed several policemen who were surprised by the sudden attack hiding behind a police vehicle. Other policemen scrambled over a low fence by the side of the road to get away as shots were being fired by the attackers.

Tempo did not mention the fate of the policeman who was gunned down, nor that of the man in dark clothes who was also shot.

The photographs also did not show whether the two attackers were captured or shot dead by other security officials.

In another surreal scene, even as the shootings were going on and people were running for their lives, a young man in an orange T-shirt was photographed standing just metres away in the middle of the road. He was apparently recording the incident with his smartphone.

Police later said five militants, one Indonesian and one Canadian were killed, and that five policemen and at least 20 civilians were hurt.

For more stories on the Jakarta attacks, please go here

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'Duo stood behind crowd of bystanders, then opened fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe