Singapore ready to work with Indonesia following twin blasts in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A suspected suicide bombing near a bus terminal in Indonesia's capital Wednesday night killed a policeman and injured nine other people, including four officers, police said.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with Islamic militancy and hundreds of radicals from the Southeast Asian state have flocked to fight with IS, sparking fears that weakened extremist outfits could get a new lease of life.

Three police officers and two suicide bombers were killed during the attack at a bus terminal in Kampung Melayu around 9 pm Wednesday night. The Islamic State-linked incident killed eight people, including four attackers. "Because. we Muslims are preparing to enter the month of Ramadan for fasting", President Joko Widodo said in a statement.

It was reported in Indonesian media that Densus 88 has raided the houses belonging to the two suspected suicide bombers on Thursday (25/05) where they confiscated bayonets, military equipment, as well as official documents such as passports and a marriage license.

Police said they raided the homes of two suspects in West Java on Thursday, one in Bandung city and another in the nearby city of Cimahi.

"We have also requested the cooperation of the Indonesian police to ensure no Malaysians were affected in the incident and so far no such report has been received", he said.

Salam's wife reportedly told investigators that the bombs were assembled by another militant known as "Agus", who is now sought by police and considered "at large and risky".

"I have to convey my deepest condolences because three police officers died", he said.

Martinus Sitompul, another police spokesman, told a local TV station the bombs went off 10 to 12 metres (32 to 40 feet) from one another and about five minutes apart.

The government has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 Bali bombings by Al Qaeda-affiliated attackers that killed 202 people. Relatives of both men, whose identities have not been released, were taken in for questioning.

Zaki Mubarak, a terrorism expert from a state Islamic university in Jakarta, said the attackers were likely influenced by fatwas from Indonesian jihadi and IS-affiliate Aman Abdurrahman, who is now imprisoned.

But authorities are increasingly anxious about a surge in radicalism, driven in part by a new generation of militants inspired by ISIS.

The terrorist attack took place while the world was still mourning the victims of the suicide bombing of the concert by United States pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester, UK, only a day before.

In January 2016, militants attacked a traffic police post and a Starbucks cafe in a busy business district in central Jakarta.

  • Leroy Wright