Monday, October 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Terror strikes Bali
Nightclub blast kills 187, mostly foreigners

Indonesian policemen check bodies
Indonesian policemen check bodies of those killed in an overnight explosion at a nightclub in Kuta on Indonesia's popular resort island of Bali on Sunday. 
An unidentified Australian woman at a Denpasar hospital
An unidentified Australian woman at a Denpasar hospital comforts her friend, suffering from burns caused by an explosion at a Bali nightclub on Sunday.
Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri
Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri (R) accompanied by Chief Security Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono talks to journalists during a news conference in Jakarta on Sunday.
Volunteers post the names on a board
Volunteers post the names on a board at a hospital of those missing or dead after last night's bomb attack outside a nightclub in Kuta beach, on the Indonesian island of Bali, on Sunday. — Reuters photos

Bali, October 13
A massive explosion from a car bomb destroyed a nightclub on the tourist island of Bali, sparking a devastating inferno that killed at least 187 persons and wounded more than 300, many of them foreigners.

National police chief Da’i Bachtiar said today that the explosion came from a Kijang, a jeep-like vehicle, and called it the worst act of terrorism in Indonesia’s history.

President Megawati Sukarnoputri flew to Bali and a security alert was declared nationwide. Security Minister Susilo Bamban Yudhyono said that strategic targets, like liquefied natural gas plants, would be protected.

Authorities said a second bomb exploded near the island’s US consular office. The police said there were no casualties in the second explosion. The US Embassy’s recreation club in Jakarta was evacuated today after a bomb threat.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing in the Sari Club at the Kuta Beach resort, which officials said killed Indonesians along with Australians, Germans, Canadians, Britons and Swedes. More than 300 persons were injured, at least 90 of them critically, officials said.

The first bomb last evening destroyed the Sari Club, a popular nightspot frequented by foreigners in the resort of Kuta Beach. The explosion at the consular office occurred almost simultaneously.

Bali police chief Budi Setyawan said most of the victims were Australian tourists.

In Sydney, Australian Prime Minister John Howard today described the incident as a “wicked and cowardly attack clearly on the evidence available to us, an act of terrorism which can have no justification”.

Indonesian Vice-President Hamzah Haz partly blamed weak intelligence and poor security measures for the blast in Bali.

LONDON: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Sunday expressed shock at the terrorist attack in Bali and asked the international community to join in efforts to rid the world of religious extremism.

“This terrorist incident, inspired by religious extremism, reminds us of the common responsibility of all members of the international community to join together and support each other in ridding the world of this cancer,” Mr Vajpayee said shortly before his departure for New Delhi at the end of his three-nation tour.

Describing Bali as an island of peace and beauty, he said: “It is a historic place. Last year, I was in Bali watching the beautiful coast. That beauty of Bali is sought to be destroyed by terrorism.”

British Prime Minister Tony Blair also condemned the blast on the Indonesian resort island. A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is horrified by the explosions in Bali overnight”.

A report from Washington said President George W. Bush on Sunday said the explosions were the result of the cowardly act designed to create terror and chaos.”

“Terrorists have once again targeted innocent, this time in Indonesia,” he said.

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a condolence telegram sent to Ms Sukarnoputri, said: “These tragic events confirm that the global community needs to coordinate much more closely its fight against international terrorism — the scourge of the 21st century”. AgenciesBack

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