07/17/2009, 00.00
INDONESIA
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President Susilo targeted in Jakarta attacks. A third unexploded bomb at the Marriott

by Mathias Hariyadi
The presence of human remains indicates that the two explosions were suicide attacks. Strong condemnation from the Islamic Ulama Nadlatul and the Council of Ulema. Susilo fears for the consequences on the economy.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – It appears that President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono was one of the terrorist’s targets.  Meanwhile, investigations have revealed human remains close to where the bombs were detonated in the attacks on the two hotels, leading specialists to suspect they were suicide attacks.

This afternoon, after a condemnation of the attacks at the Marriott Hotel and the Ritz Carlton, President Susilo revealed that according to intelligence services in Indonesia, he was one of the terrorists’ targets. The announcement at the State Palace was accompanied by the distribution of some photos that depict two masked men shooting at a target that has a photo of Susilo stuck to it. The president had planned to go to the site of the explosion, but was advised against it by his security staff, because of the presence of other “live” bombs in the area.

The Indonesian President, re-elected two weeks ago with a solid victory, has worked in recent years to reduce terrorism, strengthen the economy, and fight corruption.

Speaking during a press conference in the presidential palace, Susilo condemned the attacks and noted that the episode could cause problems for the national economy in the coming months, due to the ongoing global crisis.

He described the authors of the two attacks as "inhuman", accusing them of not having other interests beyond causing further suffering for the population

Condemnation of the attacks was also expressed by the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Islamic organization in the country. The head of NU, Kiai Hajj Hasyim Muzadi, stressed that "the victims are all innocent people." The Ulema Council has also condemned the tragedy.

Police have confirmed that another bomb was found on the 18th floor of the Marriott Hotel ready to explode. Meanwhile, specialists are suggesting that the two explosions were carried out by suicide bombers. Very close to the points were the two bombs were detonated, human remains were found, a head and a foot.

Theo Sambuanga, chairman of the parliamentary security committee stated that "there are indications of suicide attacks" in the two hotels and they are awaiting the results of more in-depth investigations.

In the interim, the death toll has been updated:  9 dead and 52 injured. Among the dead there are many foreigners, including Timothy Mackay, chairman of the international cement company Holcim.

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