Jakarta: Indonesians were shaken but refusing to be cowed a day after a deadly attack in a busy district of central Jakarta that has been claimed by the Islamic State group.
In a new development, police today told an Indonesian TV channel they arrested three men on suspicion of links to the attack that killed seven people including five attackers. The area near a Starbucks coffee shop where the attack by suicide bombers and gunmen began remained cordoned off with a highly visible police presence today.
Onlookers and journalists lingered nearby, with some people leaving flowers and messages of support. A large screen atop the building that houses the Starbucks displayed messages that said "#prayforjakarta" and
Indonesian police take position behind a vehicle as they pursue suspects after a series of blasts hit the Indonesia capital Jakarta on January 14, 2016. Pic/AFP
Newspapers carried bold front-page headlines declaring the country was united in condemnation of the attack, which was the first in Indonesia since 2009. Depok area police chief Col. Dwiyono told MetroTV that the three men were arrested at dawn at their homes in Depok on the outskirts of Jakarta.
Dwiyono, who goes by one name, says the men are suspected militants and are being questioned over possible links to the attack yesterday. MetroTV broadcast footage of the handcuffed men being escorted by police. Risti Amelia, an accountant at a company near the Starbucks restaurant said she was "still shaking and weak" when she returned to her office Friday. Because staff remained emotional, the company decided to send workers home, she said.
Two civilians were killed in the attack that began Thursday morning, an Indonesian and a Canadian. Another 20 people were wounded. Jakarta police chief Maj. Gen. Tito Karnavian has said the attackers had links with IS and were part of a group led by Bahrum Naim, an Indonesian militant who is now in Syria.
A message shared on Twitter late Thursday claimed the attack was the work of IS, and the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said it was circulated among pro-IS groups on other media. The message said attackers carried out the Jakarta assault and had planted several bombs with timers.
It differed from Indonesian police on the number of attackers, saying there were four. It said they wore suicide belts and carried light weaponry. The statement could not be independently verified by The Associated Press, though it resembled previous claims made by the group, which controls territory in both Iraq and Syria.