Indonesian president-elect 'saddened' by Paris blast

8th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

JAKARTA, Oct 8 (AFP) - Indonesia's president-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday condemned as "an act of violence" a bombing outside his country's embassy in Paris.

JAKARTA, Oct 8 (AFP) - Indonesia's president-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday condemned as "an act of violence" a bombing outside his country's embassy in Paris.  

"I'm saddened by and condemn the act of violence against our embassy in France," Yudhoyono told reporters.  

"We call on the French government to uphold law and provide further protection for our citizens in France," he said as Indonesia urged its foreign missions to be on heightened alert after the early-morning blast.  

"The fact that such an explosion occurred in the vicinity of the embassy is, by and of itself, a source of great concern," foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said.  

"The bombing in the heart of Paris serves as a reminder that no country can give an absolute guarantee about security and that bombings can take place at any time and any place."  

However, it could not be assumed that Indonesia was the target of the explosion, the first in "recent times" near an Indonesian mission abroad, he said.  

Natalegawa said the Indonesian wife and two children of an embassy security guard suffered hearing damage in the blast, which French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin described as "an act with criminal intent".  

Natalegawa said Indonesia has no plans to shut down the mission.  

French firefighters said the explosion slightly wounded 10 people, including five members of the embassy staff.  

Andreas, head of the embassy's consular section, told Metro-TV from Paris that the blast had only damaged windows in the mission.  

Yudhoyono, who is to be sworn in on October 20, urged the government of outgoing President Megawati Sukarnoputri to work closely with France to investigate the explosion.  

Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda has reported the incident to Megawati and has also been in contact with French President Jacques Chirac, Natalegawa said.  

A team of five Indonesian counter-terrorism officers will leave Saturday for Paris where they will work with French police probing the blast, according to the head of counter-terrorism at Indonesia's security ministry.  

The team is led by Brigadier General Gorries Mere, who headed a police task force that played a major role in bringing those behind the 2002 bombings of Bali nightclubs which killed 202 people to justice, Ansyaad Mbai said.  

Asked at a news conference whether a right-wing French group could be responsible for the Paris attack, Natalegawa said: "We are not even going to begin speculating who is behind this particular act."  

Indonesia has been hit by a series of bombings in recent years, most of them blamed on the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) extremist network which allegedly has links with Al-Qaeda and seeks a regional Islamic state across parts of Southeast Asia.  

In the most recent attack, nine people died on September 9 when a truck bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta.  

Police have named two Malaysians - Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammed Top - as prime suspects in that attack. The pair are also allegedly linked to the Bali bombings and an August, 2003 car bombing of an American-run hotel in Jakarta. Twelve people died in that attack.  

About 30 Indonesian police were sent to reinforce security at the French embassy in Jakarta following the blast.



Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article