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Indonesian president-elect condemns Paris bombing

Published on October 08, 2004

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 foreign ministry has called on all Indonesian embassies around the world to be on alert and vigilant,” foreign ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin said.  

Another ministry spokesman, Marty Natalegawa, said “we cannot assume” that Indonesia was the target of the explosion.  

He 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 and will issue a statement urging Indonesian residents of France to stay calm.  

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

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.  

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

He said there was no word on what type of bomb had exploded.   “Until now the police don’t want to talk about details like that,” Andreas said.  

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

Two Indonesian women who had been held hostage by an Islamic militant group in Iraq arrived home on Thursday after a few days in captivity.

Two French journalists have been held captive for two months in Iraq.   Indonesia has been hit by a series of bombings in recent years, most of them blamed on the Jemaah Islamiyah 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 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202, and an August, 2003 car bombing of an American-run hotel in Jakarta. Twelve people died in that attack.  

Indonesia earned widespread praise for its leadership of a multinational police investigation into the Bali bombings, and has continued to work with foreign police in probing subsequent bombings.




Subject: French News