World

Witness in Jakarta attack: Shooter kept reloading gun

Jakarta rattled by bombs, gunfire

He was in a nearby building when the series of terror attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia, began yesterday morning.

Mr Ruli Koestaman, 32, told reporters that he saw a "terrorist" repeatedly shooting at bystanders, including a local journalist.

He told AFP: "Then I heard a 'boom'. It felt like an earthquake. We all went downstairs.

"I then saw that the Starbucks downstairs was destroyed, too. I saw a foreigner - Westerner, a man - with a mangled hand but alive.

"A Starbucks waiter ran out with blood coming out of his ear. And I asked if anyone was hurt inside, he said, 'Yes, one. Dead already'."

Mr Koestaman said a gunman soon appeared.

"He started shooting at us and then at Starbucks. Then the police post... exploded.

"The police started to shoot at the guy who kept reloading his gun. And then there was another explosion. Then more shootings."

The attacks, which began at about 10.30am (11.30am Singapore time) and are believed to be coordinated, were centred around Thamrin Street, a major shopping and business district close to foreign embassies and the United Nations offices.

Even as the terror unfolded on the streets of Jakarta, there was confusion about who the attackers were and how many were killed, Jakarta Globe reported.

HOW MANY GUNMEN?

In a Facebook post, the National Police said there were seven attackers, three of whom had been shot dead and four "incapacitated and arrested".

They also said that reports that the assailants were heavily armed and riding motorcycles were not true.

But earlier, the police said the series of explosions in the area included blasts triggered by four suicide bombers.

In a separate statement, National Police deputy chief Budi Gunawan said there were five attackers, two of whom were killed in suicide bombings.

GRENADES OR SUICIDE BOMBINGS?

Police have also been less than clear about the explosions, at one point calling them grenade blasts, before saying they were suicide bombings.

Commander General Budi said in his statement that they were grenades.

HOW MANY KILLED?

In the immediate aftermath, witnesses said they saw at least six bodies in the area, although it is not known which of them were those of the alleged attackers.

Initial reports said three police officers from the police post were killed.

The latest death toll is at least seven and 20 others injured.

WERE ATTACKERS FROM ISIS?

Police said they believed the attack was inspired by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and that the attackers were connected to a terror cell that was disrupted just before Christmas.

But national intelligence agency chief Sutiyoso said there were no indications that ISIS militants were behind the attack, even though he said "this is definitely terrorism".

Later in the day, police said the attackers were "linked to ISIS".

Meanwhile, Aamaq news agency, which has links to the terror group, claimed that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

WAS FOREIGN VICTIM DUTCH OR CANADIAN?

Initial reports by Indonesian security officials said that a Dutch citizen was killed in the attacks.

But the Dutch foreign ministry said he was not killed but seriously injured.

Reuters reported that the foreign national killed was a Canadian.

 

FYI

WHAT: Multiple blasts

WHERE: Indonesia's capital, Jakarta

WHEN: Yesterday

TOLL: At least seven killed, 20 injured

JakartaattackblastGun Violence