Blasts hit Indonesian hotels, six confirmed dead (Second Lead)

July 17th, 2009 - 11:22 am ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, July 17 (DPA) Two powerful explosions hit the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in the Indonesian capital Friday morning, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others, police and media reports said.
Jakarta police spokesman Chrysnanda said six people were confirmed dead in the apparent attack, but media reports put the death toll at eight, including four foreigners.

Chrysnanda feared the death toll could rise as many of the wounded people were in a serious condition.

Media reports said at least 29 people were injured in the blasts and were taken to nearby hospitals.

Chrysnanda also confirmed that the blasts came from bombs, but he did not give more details of the explosions. “Investigation is under way by bomb experts,” he said.

The first explosion hit the Ritz-Carlton, completely destroying its facade, and the second blast hit the nearby Marriott hotel.

A witness said the explosions were about five minutes apart.

“I was having a breakfast in the nearby restaurant when I heard a very strong blast,” said Intan, a local official.

“I saw several blooded foreigners taken out of the hotel,” she told the TV One channel.

Television footage showed ambulances continuing to arrive at the scene and there was a heavy police presence.

The blasts came just over a week after the July 9 presidential election, in which incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appeared set to win a second five-year term in office although the result has not yet been officially confirmed.

Yudhoyono has been credited with restoring security following a spate of deadly attacks blamed on Islamic militants from the Jemaah Islamiyah radical group since the start of the decade.

It was a second bomb attack on the Jakarta Marriott. In August 2003, a militant drove a bomb-laden truck into the lobby of the hotel and set it off, killing 12 people and injuring 150.

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