DAESH attacks kill two civilians in Jakarta

Multiple assaults carried out by DAESH kill two civilians in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta and five other assailants are also dead

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Indonesian police at the scene of several explosions on Thursday in central Jakarta

DAESH terrorists carried out multiple bomb and gun attacks in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, killing two people and injuring 20others on Thursday.

The five attackers were also killed, and another four were arrested by police, and the area has been secured, a police spokesman said.

In the hours following the attack, a DAESH allied news agency reported from its Telegram channel that DAESH has carried out the attacks. 

Aamaq news agency said that DAESH "fighters [terrorists] carried out an armed attack this morning targeting foreign nationals and the security forces charged with protecting them in the Indonesian capital."

The Jakarta police chief later confirmed the claim and said that DAESH was "definitely" behind the attacks in Jakarta.

Police said that they suspected a suicide bomber was responsible for at least one of the blasts.

One of the civilian victims was a Canadian, and Indonesian officials informed Canada later in the day. There was also Algerian, Austrian, German and Dutchman citizens among the injured

"We are sterilising the building from basement to top," the police spokesman Iqbal Kabid told reporters, explaining that a gun battle between the attackers and police took place in a cinema that is in the same building as a Starbucks cafe that was attacked.

"We will declare the situation secure soon," he said.

Media outlets said that six bombs went off after up to 15 DAESH terrorists armed with guns and explosives, which were involved in the attack, entered the city on motorbikes.

Indonesian police later said that Bahrum Naim, an indicated Indonesian man who is thought to have joined DAESH, might have involve in plotting. 

Gunshots were heard after the midmorning explosions in front of the Sarinah shopping mall and a police station. The area also has many luxury hotels, offices and embassies, including the French, Pakistani and Turkish embassies.

One blast was in a Starbucks cafe and security forces were later seen entering the building.

"The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him," said a Reuters photographer.

In the following hours of the attack, Starbucks said that all Starbucks coffee shops will remain closed until further notice.

A separate explosion was heard in the western suburb of Palmerah, according to a domestic media tweet, but there were no other details immediately available.

Police snipers were deployed and a UN building near the scene was in lock-down with no one allowed in or out, it has been reported. Some other buildings in the area were evacuated.

A Regional Representative of UN, Jeremy Douglas who was staying at a hotel in the attack area said on Twitter that an apparent suicide bomber was literally 100m from the UN office and his hotel.

Indonesia's central bank is located in the same area, and a spokesman for the bank said that a policy meeting would go ahead as planned later in the day.

National police spokesman Anton Charliyan said that "From what we see today, this group is following the pattern of the Paris attacks," referring to the multiple terrorist attacks on the streets of Paris in November that left 130 people dead. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, condemned the violent attack that targeted foreign nationals and security forces.

"We condemn these attacks that have disturbed the peace of society and we want to spread this message to the nation and society,” he said.

“I ordered the authorities to catch those responsible for the attacks and even those out there that are involved in this. We as a country, we should not be frightened by what has happened, this act of terror. We should stay calm because everything will be under control."

During his visit to the scene of the attack in the Indonesian capital, he urged the public not to be cowed by an act of “terror” like this. 

The attacks come a couple of weeks after Indonesian officials launched a crackdown on suspected DAESH terrorists. 

TRTWorld and agencies