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Saturday, October 01, 2005 

Bali bombing kills at least 22.

2 days after I post saying that no major "al-Qaida" targets have been hit twice, Bali has become the scene of another terrorist attack. Next time I'll keep my mouth shut. Condolences and sympathy to those injured and the relatives of the dead:

Bomb attacks on two busy tourist areas on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have killed at least 22 people.

About 50 others were injured in at least three blasts which took place just before 2000 local time (1200 GMT).

Two blasts occurred at Jimbaran - a seaside area packed with restaurants. Another was at Kuta beach, the area most popular with Western tourists.

In October 2002, bomb attacks blamed on Islamic extremists killed 202 people in Kuta, among them many foreign tourists.

Local TV has been showing pictures of people with terrible injuries and collapsed buildings.

A hospital official told Reuters news agency that at least 35 wounded foreigners had been taken to the island's main hospital.

Local media said the police had found a number of other unexploded devices.

The exact number of blasts, which happened almost simultaneously, was not clear. Some witnesses said they heard at least two explosions at each location.

A British tourist who was in a building next door to a restaurant that was hit in Kuta said there was a "thunderous boom" that caused all the shop's windows to blow out.

"It was just chaos," Daniel Martin told the BBC.

He said there were people lying in the streets with serious injuries, with everyone pitching in to help.

Journalist Maris Bakkalupulo went to the scene of the Kuta blast, and saw a noodle shop that had been badly damaged.

"It's completely gutted," she told the BBC. "Everything has been blasted out of the building, which is very mangled."

Another tourist in Bali, Anthony Brearley from Australia, said he heard two explosions in Kuta.

"I think the locals still think it's a gas explosion. I think they genuinely think it couldn't happen again," he told the BBC News website.

"All the Australian people automatically thought 'bombs', and they were gone.

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has said at least one Australian was killed and three injured.

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the blasts.

"These are clearly terrorist attacks because the targets were random and public places," he said.

"We will hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice."


The blasts come less than two weeks before the third anniversary of bomb attacks that killed 202 people - many of them foreigners holidaying in Bali.

The 12 October 2002 bombings have been blamed on Jemaah Islamiah (JI), - a south-east Asian militant group which is said to have links with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

JI is also suspected of being behind a suicide bombing at the Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed 11 people in 2003, and a suicide bombing at the Australian embassy last September in which eight people were killed.

The BBC's Tim Johnston in Jakarta says the authorities had warned that militants had been planning further attacks on Western targets in Indonesia, although there had been no particular alerts over the past few days.

It's also worth mentioning here that at least 150 have died in Iraq over the past few days. I doubt they'll get the a similar amount of coverage to what this will.

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