Malaysians suspected of Bali strikes

Suicide bombers carried out attacks on three crowded restaurants on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, killing at least 25 people and wounding more th

October 8, 2005 14:15
3 minute read.


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Suicide bombers carried out attacks on three crowded restaurants on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than a 100. Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, a top anti-terror official, said Sunday that two Malaysian fugitives were suspected of masterminding the strikes. Mbai said the three attackers went into the packed restaurants on Saturday evening wearing explosive vests. The remains of their bodies were found at the scenes. "I have seen them. All that is left is their head and feet," he told The Associated Press. "By the evidence we can conclude the bombers were carrying the explosives around their waists." Malaysians Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top have been on Indonesia's most wanted lists since attacks on the same resort island in 2002 killed 202 people, most of them foreigners. The two - alleged to be key members of the al-Qaida linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror group - were accused of orchestrating those blasts and two others in the Indonesian capital in 2003 and 2004. Those attacks also involved suicide bombers. "The modus operandi of Saturday's attacks is the same as the earlier ones," said Mbai. "We suspect [Husin and Top] were behind this." The near simultaneous blasts ripped through two packed seafood cafes on Jimbaran beach and a three-story noodle and steak house in downtown Kuta, the site of the 2002 blasts. Dozens of people, most of them Indonesian, waited in tears outside the morgue in Sanglah Hospital, near the island's capital Denpasar, for news of friends and relatives missing since the attacks. Among the injured were 49 Indonesians, 17 Australians, six Koreans, three Japanese and two Americans, a hospital official said, adding that the others had yet to been identified. Early Sunday, the island's airport was quiet, with little immediate sign of the massive evacuation of foreign visitors that followed in the immediate aftermath of the 2002 bombings, which devastated the island's tourist industry. "What happened yesterday will not make me leave," said holidaymaker Tony Abott, from Sydney, Australia. "I am staying until Wednesday as scheduled." Western and Indonesian intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned Jemaah Islamiyah were plotting more attacks despite a string of arrests. Baradita Katoppo, an Indonesian tourist from Jakarta, said one of the bombs on Jimbaran beach went off in the Nyoman Cafe, where he was eating with friends. Five minutes later another explosion rocked a neighboring seafood restaurant. "I could see other people sustained injuries," he said. "There was blood on their faces and their bodies. It was very chaotic and confusing, we didn't know what to do." About 30 kilometers away in Kuta, at almost exactly the same time, an explosion hit the three-story Raja noodle and steakhouse in a bustling outdoor shopping center. Smoke poured from the badly damaged building.

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