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Australian Embassy in the centre of Jakarta is bombed
A strong explosion roared in front of the Australian Embassy in the centre of Jakarta. The sound of the blast was heard at the distance of 15 kilometres. In the nearby Russian Embassy window-panes were blown out. Charge d'Affaires ad interim of Russia in Indonesia Kirill Barsky told RIA Novosti that there were no information about victims among the Russian citizens. He said that all the measures were being taken now to ensure the Russians' safety, and that liaison had been established with representatives of all Russian organisations in the Indonesian capital. According to the preliminary data, in front of the Australian Embassy, a taxi collided with a car which, apparently, carried explosives. No staff members of the Australian Embassy suffered from the explosion. As official spokeswoman for the Australian Foreign Ministry Lyndall Sachs stated in Canberra, the explosion shattered the windows in the building and damaged the metal fence. Presently, the staff members of the Australian Embassy do not answer telephone calls. Now that the smoke and dust from the explosion settled down, one can see that the Australian Embassy suffered less than the neighbour buildings. The Embassy, surrounded with a strong metal fence, was built taking into consideration possible terrorist acts. The nearby Jakarta hospitals report about a great number of the injured. As the information department of the MMC hospital, close to the scene of the explosion, told RIA Novosti, the hospital received 106 patients. Three of them were brought dead. The Jakarta radio reports that at least six people were killed by the explosion, including the Embassy's guard. A new terrorist act in Jakarta took place slightly more than a year after a strong explosion outside the Marriott Hotel. At that time a lorry, filled with explosives, was blasted. A suicide bomber performed an explosion at the dinner time next to the popular restaurant in the hotel. The last year's explosion killed 12 people, including one foreigner, and injured about 150. The overwhelming majority of them were Moslems. Hot on the trail, the police arrested 14 militants of the regional Islamic terrorist organisation Jama'a Islamiyah (Islamic community) which operated in the Southeast Asian countries. However, Azahari bin Husin, one of the most dangerous militants of the Jama'a Islamiyah, is still free. He is considered to be one of the organisers of the explosions in the Marriott and on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in October 2002 when over 200 people died.
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