Bomb blasts rock Indonesia’s Bali, 25 dead

Almost exactly three years ago terror struck Bali, as bombs tore through the tropical paradise killing and maiming tourists and locals alike. It’s still uncertain if they were the work of al-Qaeda, or as the sadly missed Joe Vialls suggested, the work of Zionists and Western intelligence agencies? Either way, more blasts have now ripped through Bali, killing and wounding dozens. Ed.

Bomb blasts rock Indonesia’s Bali, 25 dead
Darren Whiteside – Rueters October 1, 2005

Two bomb blasts ripped through popular tourist areas on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday, killing at least 25 people including foreigners and wounding dozens more, officials said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the nearly simultaneous blasts, which come three years since militants linked to al Qaeda bombed two nightclubs on Bali’s Kuta Beach in October 2002, killing 202 people, mainly foreign tourists.

Police confirmed two bomb blasts near separate cafes, one in Kuta Beach and the other Jimbaran Beach, while local Metro TV said there had been four blasts.

“People were running for their lives. Foreign tourists were wounded. I am so scared,” Yosi, 24, a shop owner in Kuta Beach told Reuters.

Officials at Bali’s Sanglah hospital, told Reuters that 17 dead had been brought in. “Many” were foreigners, said on official, but added a specific figure could not be given.

At least 35 wounded foreigners had been taken there, other hospital officials said.

One witness told El Shinta radio that there were at least 30 casualties at the other blast in the Jimbaran Beach area, although he did not say if any victims were killed.

Local Metro TV said there were two blasts at Jimbaran and two at Kuta. It quoted witnesses who said one of the Jimbaran explosions was near the upmarket Four Seasons Hotel.

Reuters Television pictures from Sanglah hospital showed the dead bodies of an Indonesian boy and one male foreigner.

Inside the badly damaged Raja restaurant and bar in Kuta Beach, a popular eatery, blood was spattered on the floor. Shattered glass from other shops and cafes littered the street.

People were crying and looked shocked, television pictures showed. Wounded Indonesian victims sat on the pavement, while foreigners appeared to be in panic.

Indonesian officials have not blamed anyone yet for the attacks, but officials have been warning for months that the shadowy Jemaah Islamiah militant network, seen as the regional arm of al Qaeda, was planning more bombing attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Police have blamed the group for a series of bombing attacks in recent years that have hit Western targets, including the 2002 Bali nightclub attacks.

Yudhoyono condemned the blasts and would head to the island, his spokesman said.

“The president strongly condemns this criminal act. At this moment, the president is at the airport (in Jakarta),” spokesman Andi Mallarangeng told El Shinta radio.

The attacks pile on the problems for Yudhoyono, who is due to mark his first year in office on October 20. He is also battling an outbreak of deadly bird flu and protests over sharp hikes in domestic fuel prices.

Bali is Indonesia’s most popular destination for foreign tourists. While number of foreign tourists dropped sharply after the 2002 attacks, the island’s key industry has since recovered.