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Jakarta: 7 Dead in 6 Explosions, President Calls Blast ‘Act of Terror’

Massive Explosions – Gunfire Exchange Rock Central Jakarta

At least seven people have been killed in a series of explosions in central Jakarta, Indonesia’s police told Al Jazeera, as gunfire rang out of the capital’s downtown area.

An unknown number of people were injured in the ongoing security operations at the Sarinah area near the presidential palace in the centre of Jakarta.

At least four of the gunmen were among the dead and at least one policeman was killed, police told Al Jazeera. A Dutch national, who was working for the United Nations, was also among the dead.

Al six blasts occurred in the central business district, about 50 metres apart.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who is on a working visit in West Java town of Cirebon, has ordered security forces to hunt down the perpetrators and their network behind the attacks in Jakarta.

“I have received reports some time ago about the explosion in Thamrin street Jakarta. We express condolence to those who became victims, but we all also condemn the attack that caused restless among the community,” Jokowi said.

He said he had ordered the national police chief and the minister for political and security affairs to hunt down and capture the perpetrators and those in their network.

Jokowi said he was cutting short his visit and retuning to the capital.

“This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people,” Jokowi said in statement on television.

A gunfight is under way. At least three people have died in the blasts.
According to the an official Jakarta police Twitter account, one explosion went off in front of a shopping centre called the Sarinah mall.
One police officer was reportedly shot near the site of explosion in central Jakarta, an Indonesian TV reported.

Local media said six bombs went of and a Reuters witness saw three dead people and a gunfight going on. One blast went off in a Starbucks cafe and security forces were later seen entering the building.

“The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him,” said a Reuters photographer.

Indonesia has been on edge over recent weeks about the danger of Islamist militants and counter-terrorism police have launched a crackdown on people with suspected links to Islamic State.

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