- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 2, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb. 3 (UPI) — An explosion shook a building in the Indonesian national police headquarters compound Monday morning but caused no casualties, police said.

Inspector Gen. Makbul Padmanegara, chief of the Jakarta city police, confirmed the explosion, which occurred before 7:20 a.m. Monday. While no one was injured, the blast damaged two cars near the police complex and the roof of the police-owned Wisma Bayangkari building, a next-door building that had been used for a wedding reception Sunday night, Jakarta's El-Shinta private radio reported.

No one has claimed responsible for the blast.

Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang, deputy spokesman of the national police said "several people, including security officers were questioned as witnesses" in connection with the blast.

Aritonang said the explosion was believed to have been caused by a "low-explosive" material. The material was apparently in a black bag left near the building's entrance. He said a sentry reported that bag to bomb experts.

"But before the bomb experts arrived on the scene, the bag exploded," Aritonang said, adding that the affected building had been closed.

He said the investigation would also involve looking into the participants at the party using the building Sunday evening, the food caters for the party as well as cleaning service workers.

Indonesia's national police force has won praise for their handling of the investigation into the Oct. 12 attacks on two nightspots in Bali in which more than 190 people, many of them foreign visitors, were killed.

Police have arrested at least 25 people in the Bali bombings case, which they have linked to an Islamic militant group. Authorities have also made a series of arrests, including radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Baasyir, in connection with a series of Christmas Eve 2000 bombings of several churches in which 18 people died.




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