Friday, July 17, 2009

Bomb struck JW Marriott & Ritz Carlton Hotels in Jakarta, 6 died so far

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- At least two explosions rocked the Ritz Carlton and the JW Marriott hotels in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, today. Authorities are trying to establish if bombs were the cause of the blast, a police official said.

The Associated Press, citing police, said at least four foreigners were killed in the explosions. Many people have been injured, said M. Halolo, a police officer on duty at the Setiabudi police station. A New Zealander was among two people seriously injured, AP said.

The explosions ripped the fa├žade off the Ritz and glass and debris littered the street outside the neighboring hotels, the news agency said.

Indonesia was hit by bombings annually from 1999 to 2005 that left about 280 people dead and were blamed on Southeast Asian terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah.

The al-Qaeda-linked group is blamed for an attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 that killed 12 people, a bomb explosion outside the Australian Embassy in the Indonesian capital in 2004 that killed at least nine and the 2002 attack on the island of Bali that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians.

The Indonesian rupiah declined the most in two weeks after the explosions. The rupiah slid 0.8 percent to 10,200 per dollar as of 8:45 a.m. in Jakarta, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency reached 10,075 yesterday, the strongest since June 15.

Trading on the Indonesia Stock Exchange will open as normal, said Hilailah Suralaga, a spokeswoman at the bourse.

The Manchester United soccer team was scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on July 18 and was booked to stay at the Ritz Carlton, said Azwan Karim, media officer for the Indonesia Football Association.

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