The capital city of Indonesia was rocked by explosions as terrorists carried out Jakarta attacks at a Starbucks café in a busy shopping area. There were also gun battles between the police and the attackers on Thursday. The streets of Jakarta were filled with dead bodies of the victims and office workers watched the scenes unfold from the windows of high-rise buildings. There are also reports that several other explosions have been heard in different parts of the city.
According to the police reports, four of the terrorist who took part in Jakarta attacks were killed. The police had been warning about such an attacks like the recent Jakarta attacks, for months. It is still unclear if other perpetrators of the Jakarta attacks are still roaming free.
The recent Jakarta attacks are the first major terrorist violence to hit the Indonesian capital since the bombings in two hotels in 2009. It had resulted in the deaths of 7 people. More than 50 people were wounded too. The most devastating terrorist attacks in Indonesia were carried out in 2002 in the island resort of Bali. The attacks claimed the lives of 202 people most of whom were foreigners.
As yet, the responsibility of the Thursday Jakarta attacks has not be claimed by any group. The attacks that took place near Sarinah shopping mall situated in the Thamrin Street caused a security lockdown in the central parts of the city. Security check points were also hastily arranged all over the city that boasts more than 10 million residents.
The president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, of Indonesia said in a televised statement that the terrorist act was carried out with the intention disturbing public life and spread terror among the population. The president was on an official visit to the Western town of Cirebon at the time of Jakarta attacks. He said that the country, the nation and the people of Indonesia should not become afraid of such brazen acts of terror.
A security guard at the site of the attacks told the Associated Press that there were at least five terrorists. Three of them triggered the explosion at the Starbucks café. It is still not clear whether they used bombs or grenades. The security guard said that they were suicide bombers but the spokesman for the national police Gen. Anton Charilyan said that they weren’t.
The police spokesman said that the Jakarta attacks were carried out by an unknown number of terrorists who had guns and grenades at their disposal. There was at least one motorcycle also use in the attacks. Right after the very first explosion, there was intense gunbattle between the anti-terror police and the attackers. It lasted for at least one and a half hour.
About two hours later, another explosion was heard from a cafe near the Starbucks, about five minutes after 25 anti-terror policemen entered it. It was not clear if the explosion was a controlled detonation or a bomb.
There are several luxury hotels, embassies and offices in the area. The other explosions were heard in the area where the embassies of Pakistan and Turkey are located.