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Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History – 2002 Bali Bombings: Indonesia

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Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History – 2002 Bali Bombings: Indonesia

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on October 12, 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Island of Bali, Indonesia. The attack was the deadliest act of terrorism in the country’s history, killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens.

A further 209 people were injured. The attack involved the detonation of three bombs: a backpack-mounted device carried by a suicide bomber; a large car bomb, both of which were detonated in or near popular nightclubs in Kuta; and a third much smaller device detonated outside the United States consulate in Denpansar, causing only minor damage. Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamist group, was responsible for the said attack. Many of their members were convicted and were sentence to death.

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Seven foreigners were killed in Jakarta hotel bombs – media

in.reuters.com

Seven foreigners were killed in Jakarta hotel bombs – media

JAKARTA – july 18  – Seven foreigners were among those killed in the bomb attacks on two luxury hotels in Indonesia’s capital, the Jakarta Post newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a police official.

Suicide bombers struck the JW Marriott hotel and close-by Ritz-Carlton, two luxury hotels popular with businessmen and diplomats, in Jakarta’s main business district during breakfast.

Police on Friday said eight people died, revising down an earlier count of nine, and over 60 were injured. On Saturday it seemed the toll had been raised again to nine, including two suicide bombers.

The blasts are a severe blow for Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who was re-elected earlier this month in a landslide victory on the back of restoring peace and strong growth to a country with the world’s largest Muslim population.

Police won’t be drawn on who may be responsible for the blasts, but suspicion has fallen on remnants of Jemaah Islamiah, the militant Islamist group responsible for a string of attacks in Indonesia in the first half of the decade.

East Jakarta Police Chief Hasanudin told the English language Jakarta Post that forensic experts were identifying the bodies of seven foreign nationals.

“All were foreigners,” Hasanudin told the Post, adding that all were male.

Police have not released the names of any of the victims yet.

Tim Mackay, chief executive of cement maker Holcim Indonesia and a New Zealand national, was one of several executives attending a CastleAsia Group breakfast at one of the hotels, and was killed in the blast, Holcim said on Friday.

Kompas newspaper reported that two Australians died in the blasts.

Police said on Friday the bombers had checked in to the Marriott as paying guests on Wednesday and had assembled the bombs in their room. A third bomb was found and defused in a laptop computer bag on the 18th floor.

International reaction to the bombings was swift.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who spent four years living in Jakarta as a child after his mother married an Indonesian, called the attacks “outrageous”.

“These attacks make it clear that extremists remain committed to murdering innocent men, women and children of any faith in all countries,” the White House said in a statement.

Jemaah Islamiah or a splinter, blamed for a previous Marriott attack as well as bombings on the island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people, are widely suspected to be responsible for Friday’s blasts as the attacks bear the group’s hallmarks — the choice of high-profile Western targets where the victims are likely to be foreigners.

The group, which wants to create an Islamic super-state across parts of Southeast Asia, was blamed for a string of attacks until 2005, but many militants have since been arrested.

According to police, the casualties included citizens of Indonesia, the United States, Australia, South Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, Britain, Canada, Norway, Japan and India.

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Netanyahu says Hamas prisoner deal may not happen

NEWS-US-PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL-SWAP

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is seen in this video grab released October 2, 2009 by Israeli television.

Netanyahu says Hamas prisoner deal may not happen

JERUSALEM, Nov. 24, 2009 (Reuters) — An Israeli prisoner exchange with Hamas has not yet been agreed and may not happen, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, after a senior cabinet colleague predicted a breakthrough within weeks.

“There is still no deal, and I do not know if there will be one,” Netanyahu, whose reticence on the state of the Egyptian- and German-mediated negotiations has helped stoke speculation about imminent progress, told reporters.

Leaders of Hamas, the Islamist group ruling the Gaza Strip, were in Cairo to discuss the proposed swap of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for hundreds of jailed Palestinians.

Officials close to the talks said on Monday that Israel had dropped its objections to some 160 prisoners that Hamas wants included on the release roster.

But both sides have discouraged speculation that an exchange might be in place as soon as Friday’s Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

Israel had long balked at granting amnesty to Palestinians jailed for attacks that killed its citizens. While signaling flexibility in its bid to recover Shalit, the Israeli government is wary of a domestic backlash over a deal that bolsters Hamas.

“Should there be such (a swap) we will not be sparing with a public discussion. We will not do it as a fait accompli. We will allow the cabinet ministers, and the public in general, to discuss the issue,” Netanyahu said.

Seven top Israeli cabinet ministers have been discussing the proposed deal privately. One of them, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, went public on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to calm any Israeli concern at the asymmetrical swap.

DEAL IN WEEKS?

“God willing, it will be approved,” Yishai, who heads the ultra-Orthodox Jewish party Shas, told Israel Radio. “All the ministers, without exception, think that everything must be done to bring him (Shalit) home.”

“I very much hope that it will be finalised very soon, within not more than a few weeks,” he added.

Shalit was seized by Hamas-led gunmen in a 2006 raid across the Gaza border, and Israel is determined to secure his release.

Prisoner releases are no less emotive for Palestinians, who see their nearly 11,000 jailed brethren as heroes of a struggle to found an independent state in Israeli-occupied land or — in Hamas’s case — of an open-ended war against the Jewish state.

Hamas accused Israel of stirring up speculation about an imminent deal in a bid to generate Palestinian popular pressure on the Islamist movement to relax its terms and speed up a deal.

Some Israeli ministers have said that jailed Fatah activist Marwan Barghouti should be freed as part of any swap, arguing his release would help Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

But Vice Premier Silvan Shalom said on Monday that Barghouti, jailed for life in 2004 for his role in attacks on Israelis, would not be included in the swap.

Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel awaited “clarification” of the latest Hamas demands. Hamas said on Tuesday that it was premature to expect imminent agreement and blamed Israel for any hold-ups.

“We in Hamas are continuing our efforts, through the parties involved in the swap file, to overcome the obstacles placed by the Israeli enemy,” it said in a statement issued in Gaza.

Israel, having imposed stringent censorship on its own press reporting of the negotiations, has accused Hamas of deceptive media leaks. Hamas accelerated the talks last month by publishing a “proof of life” video of 23-year-old Shalit.

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