Up to seven blasts and multiple gunfights hit the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday, including one outside the United Nations building in the centre of the capital, leaving at least seven people dead.
Images from the one of the city’s busiest precincts showed a small police booth in the middle of one of Jakarta’s main roads, twisted by an explosion with three bodies lying in the street. Another shot showed smoke rising in front of a Starbucks cafe.
Jakarta police spokesman Col. Muhammad Iqbal said seven people including four attackers were killed, adding that the gun battle took place in a cinema housed in the same building as the Starbucks. “We will declare the situation secure soon,” he said.
The local Metro TV said 14 gunmen were involved in the attack, which started around 10:30am.
There were reports that as many as six attackers remained inside. With an active fight ensuing, it was unclear if subsequent blasts came from the attackers or police.
“We have previously received a threat from Islamic State that Indonesia will be the spotlight,” police spokesman Anton Charliyan told reporters. But he said police did not know who was responsible.
He said three policemen and three civilians had been killed.
“I saw a police officer shot right in front of me,” one witness told TV One.
One explosion went off in front of a shopping centre called the Sarinah mall, on a main avenue. Media said a police post outside the mall was blown up.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the vast majority of whom practise a moderate form of the religion. Read more