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Indonesia: Suspected suicide bomber, cop dead in explosion in capital Jakarta

Indonesian police said on Wednesday that there had been two explosions in the eastern part of the capital Jakarta near a bus station.

world Updated: May 25, 2017 00:21 IST
Indonesian police officers surround Kampung Melayu bus terminal in Jakarta after a bomb blast on Wednesday.
Indonesian police officers surround Kampung Melayu bus terminal in Jakarta after a bomb blast on Wednesday.(AFP)

A suspected suicide bombing rocked a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian capital Jakarta Wednesday, killing one policeman in the latest terror attack to hit the Muslim-majority country.

Five police officers were also injured in the explosion at the bus station in the east of the city.

“There has been a bomb, for now we suspect it is a suicide bombing,” deputy national police chief Syafruddin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told TV station TVOne.

Police secure the area following an explosion at a bus stop in Kampung Melayu in Jakarta. (REUTERS)

He said the bomber was killed along with one police officer, adding that five other policemen were injured.

“The police personnel had been providing security,” to people in the area, he added.

The terminal, Kampung Melayu, is a local hub served by minibuses and buses. It is a working class district of the city, not popular with foreigners or tourists.

Police and witnesses said earlier they had heard two blasts during the attack.

An Indonesian bomb squad police officer checks for other explosive devices at the Kampung Melayu bus terminal in Jakarta. (AFP)

“At first I saw smoke and shattered glass, the earth was shaking, I was shocked. After a few minutes there was another blast,” a woman at the terminal, Rosmala, a shopkeeper who goes by only one name, told AFP.

Another eyewitness, Sultan Muhammad Firdaus, told local television station Kompas TV that he had heard two explosions.

“I was on a flyover and then I heard the first explosion... There was a 10 minute gap between the two explosions.”

“The explosions were quite loud, I could hear them clearly,” he said.

An armed Indonesian police officer guards a bus terminal in Jakarta after a suspected suicide bomber set off two blasts. (AFP)

East Jakarta police chief Andry Wibowo said that the damage at the bus terminal indicated that the explosion had been “pretty big”.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with Islamic militancy and hundreds of radicals from the Southeast Asian state have flocked to fight with IS, sparking fears that weakened extremist outfits could get a new lease of life.

Police officers clear the area around the site of an explosion in Jakarta. (AP)

A gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta left four attackers and four civilians dead in January last year, and was the first assault claimed by the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia has suffered a series of Islamic militant attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

A sustained crackdown weakened the most dangerous networks but the emergence of IS has proved a potent new rallying cry for radicals.

Numerous recent IS-linked plots in Indonesia have been botched or foiled, with analysts saying that many of the country’s militants lack the capacity to launch serious attacks.