Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Survivors and families of those who were killed in the 2002 Bali bombing have gathered on the famous Indonesian island for the fifth anniversary of blasts that left 202 people dead. Ceremonies to commemorate the victims are being held in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, and in Australia
The explosions took place on October 12, 2002, at the Sari Club and the Paddy’s Pub in Kuta killing mostly tourists, including 888 Australians.
The Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist network linked to al-Qaeda and active in South-East Asia, claimed responsibility in the attack.
The group is also responsible for a second attack on the island in 2005 when three bombs went off in well-known beach resorts, killing 20 people.
In Bali the commemoration began yesterday when thousands of people gathered in front of local government offices for music and prayers.
At dusk the ceremony moved to Kuta beach where people witnessed the release into the sea of 202 sea turtles in memory of the victims.
More than 30 people were arrested for the crime.
Abdul Aziz aka Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Haji Nurhasyim, and Ali Gufron aka Mukhlas, were all sentenced to death in 2003 for playing major roles in planning and coordinating the bombings.
They were supposed to be executed on August 22, 2006, but their last minute appeal forced a suspension of the procedure.
More than a year later no date has yet been set for the death sentences to be carried out, but the Supreme Court has rejected their final appeal.
In a recent statement read by their lawyers, the three men said that their death will be a “light for the faithful and a hellish fire for the infidels.”