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Series of Explosions Spread Terror in Jakarta

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, in white shirt, visits the site of a bomb blast at Thamrin business district in Jakarta, Jan. 14, 2016.
Islamic State Claims Deadly Jakarta Attack
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The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a bomb and gun attack Thursday in Indonesia’s capital.

The attack left at least seven people dead, including a Canadian and an Indonesian. Twenty other people were wounded. Officials said all five attackers were killed.

A news agency linked to Islamic State says the attacks took place in an upscale neighborhood in central Jakarta.

Earlier, an Indonesian national police spokesman said a group allied with the Islamic State was probably responsible for the attacks. He said the attackers likely wanted to copy the terror attacks in Paris two months ago.

The Jakarta police chief, Tito Karnavian, named an Indonesian in Syria as being responsible. “All leaders of Islamic State in Southeast Asia are competing to be the regional chief. That’s why (Indonesian fighter) Bahrun Naim plotted this attack,” he said.

The violence began with a series of explosions on Thursday morning. Six blasts were reported near a shopping center, hotels and embassies.

Gun battles between militants and police took place throughout the day. By late afternoon, officials said the attack had ended.

"This is a very popular shopping area with restaurants and office buildings," said Frans Demon, a VOA Indonesian Service reporter in Jakarta.

He also said the bombs exploded not far from a United Nations office, the presidential palace and the U.S. Embassy.

The embassy will remain closed on Friday, as a precaution.

The president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, called the attacks “acts of terror.” He told the country not be afraid and asked for calm.

In November, Indonesian officials received a threat from Islamic State about a bomb attack in Jakarta. Before Thursday’s attacks, the last attack against foreigners in Jakarta was a hotel bombing in 2009.

I’m Mario Ritter.

VOA correspondent Steve Herman reported on this story. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

upscale – adj. relating to something that is costly or pricey

regional adj. affecting, of or serving a given area

blastsn. explosions

shopping – adj. of or relating to a place where goods are bought and sold

precaution - n. a safety measure

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