- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 1, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 1 (UPI) — More than 180 bags of body parts belonging to victims of last year's deadly bombings in Indonesia's famous resort of Bali were cremated Saturday in a ceremony attended by diplomats from several countries including the United States.

The cremations took place after approval was obtained from several foreign consulates whose citizens died in the Oct. 12 bombings that killed at least 202 people, mostly foreign visitors.

Coffins were filled with bags of unidentified body parts belonging to victims from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, South Korea, Sweden and from Indonesian citizens.

Ashes were then scattered over Sunrise Beach in Bali's Sanur later Saturday afternoon.

Antara, Indonesia's official news agency, said the Disaster Victim Identification team, led by John Bird from Australia, in almost four months had succeeded in identifying 202 victims, while 350 other people were wounded.

Molin Yudayasa, head of the Bali's health office, said more remains were being kept in refrigerated trucks at the island's Sanglah hospital awaiting final clearance for cremation.

Indonesian police and other countries blamed the blasts on the Jemaah Islamiyah regional militant terror group. The bombings ripped into two nightclubs at Bali's popular tourist spot of Kuta.

Police have so far arrested at least 25 people, including several key suspects in the Bali bombings. Several of them, including Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron, alias Mukhlas, have allegedly confessed to their role in the blasts.

Samudra and Gufron are believed to be senior figures in Jemaah islamiyah, an Islamic group based in Southeast Asia that allegedly is linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network.

The first trials of those accused in the Bali bombings are expected to begin next month at courthouses and government buildings on the island. The defendants will likely face possible death sentences under an anti-terrorism decree approved last year by President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Bali's prosecutors Thursday returned evidence dossiers against the alleged ringleader of the blasts, Imam Samudra, saying they weren't complete enough to secure a conviction.

Earlier, the prosecutors had rejected the case file of another key suspect, Amrozi, and returned it to the police for more evidence.


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