Deadly explosions, shootout in Indonesian capital of Jakarta
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — [Breaking news update 5:24 a.m. ET]
Here is the chronology of the attack, as outlined by police spokesman Anton Charliyan:
— At 10:55 a.m.local time, an first attacker blew himself up at a Starbucks coffee shop.
— Two other attackers outside Starbucks then seized two foreigners, a Dutch citizen and an Algerian citizen.
— The attackers then opened fire, shooting people on the street.
— They then dragged the two hostages into a parking lot and shot them. The Dutch citizen was killed. The Algerian was injured.
— Police then found the two attackers and fired at them. The attackers responded by throwing two grenades at police.
— Minutes later, two attackers rode a motorcycle toward a police post near the mall and blew themselves up.
In total, there were five explosions in the area. Police also found another five unexploded bombs and two pistols in the area, Charliyan said.
Police believed main target of the attack were foreigners and the police, he added.
At this moment, a manhunt is under way for other suspects, but Charliyan said police cannot say which group carried out the attack.
They believe the attackers were affiliated with ISIS.
[Last update posted at 5:21 a.m. ET]
At least two people were killed after armed men carried out gun and bomb attacks in the heart of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
Five attackers also died, police said. A manhunt is underway for other suspects.
Information on the toll varied in the aftermath, with some officials putting the number of dead as high as six.
There have so far been no claims of responsibility, but one analyst likened the timed attacks to the Paris massacre where ISIS struck several locations at the same time.
Among the victims was at least one foreign national, authorities said.
Another 19 people, including another foreigner, were injured, he said.
“A Dutch national has been severely injured and is now undergoing surgery at a hospital in Jakarta,” Angele Samura, Security Advisor, Netherlands Embassy Jakarta, told CNN.
The five blasts took place Thursday morning on Thamrin steet, an entertainment and shopping district with various Western chains. It was the first major attack in Jakarta since the 2009 simultaneous attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, which killed seven.
With the investigation still going on, several things were unclear: Exactly how many gunmen were involved, and how many locations they struck.
Heart of the city
One of the targets of the Thursday attacks was a police station, next to a busy shopping center, the Sarinah Thamrin Plaza.
The attackers used grenades and engaged in a firefight with officers, police spokesman Anton Charliyan said. Five unexploded bombs were found after the attacks.
A Starbucks coffee shop in the nearby Skyline Building appeared to have been another target. The windows of the cafe had been blown out.
Amateur video, posted on Twitter, appears to have caught one of the explosions outside the shop.
Heavily-armed police poured into the Skyline Building, looking for other attackers.
“You couldn’t get much more central in Jakarta if you tried. It’s basically right smack dab in the central business area,” said Jeremy Douglas, who works in the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, located in the area.
“If you wanted to make an impact, and get visibility for what you’re trying to do, this is the place to do it.”
Christian Hubel, a witness, told CNN he and his colleagues heard five or six explosions in succession. Their office building was locked down.
“It looks like the whole street, the whole location is still locked down. Nobody’s moving to the scene,” he said. “A lot of police, rescue cars are parked there. But nobody’s moving, so it seems as if it’s still going on.”
Echoes of Paris
CNN security analyst Bob Baer, said the attack bears the signature of ISIS.
It “sounds like the Paris attack to me,” Baer said. A lot of these fighters are getting combat experience in Iraq and Syria, many of whom have experience handling and detonating explosives, he said.
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world but it has a secular government. That has made it a ripe target for extremists. And ISIS’ high-profile extremism has gained it a small following there.
Police have been commended for breaking down terror networks in Indonesia, including Jemaah Islamiyah, the perpetrators of the 2002 Bali bombing, in which a nightclub was bombed. Smaller splinter groups that attack police and government buildings rather than Western targets have sprung up in its place.
Clarke Jones, a counterterrorism expert at the Australian National University, said that the attack was of a “fairly amateurish type, with hand grenades and firearms.”
However, he was surprised that police had not detected it previously, given the apparent high level of organization, but added that forces all over the world are being “caught off guard and surprised by low level, small scale attacks.”
The biggest worry is Indonesians fighting in Syria and Iraq will return home with the training and combat experience.
In recent weeks, police have been on high alert, while military operations focus on hitting the East Indonesian Mujahadeen, helmed by Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist, Santoso, who has pledged support for ISIS.
On Thursday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the nation will remain unbowed after the attacks.
“We should not be afraid and defeated by acts of terror like this,” he said.