Militants of the Islamic State terror group carried out multiple coordinated attacks involving suicide bombers and gunmen in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday morning, killing at least 17.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attacks, which involved six explosions in rapid succession, claiming it was targeting foreign nationals and security forces.
The six blasts all occurred around 10:30 am local time in Jakarta’s central business district, near a major shopping area, foreign embassies and the United Nations headquarters.
Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the UN office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, tweeted about a bomb as well as “serious” exchanges of gunfire on the street outside his office.
Three suicide bombers blew themselves up at a local Starbucks, resulting only in one person taken away injured and another treated at the scene, besides the casualties of the bombers themselves.
Media reports currently suggest that the 17 casualties include five terrorists, five police officers and seven civilians. Among the civilians are one Canadian citizen and a Dutchman was among the many seriously wounded.
Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said that the attack showed that “terrorism can hit everybody. Whether you are shopping in the heart of Paris, in a New York office or on vacation in Jakarta.”
Earlier, local police spokesman Gen. Anton Charliyan said that the assailants had “imitated the terror actions in Paris” which led him to suspect that ISIS was behind the attacks.
Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has denounced the attacks but urged calm. “We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people,” he said.
“The state, nation and people should not be afraid of, and lose to, such terror acts,” he added.
In December, nine alleged Islamic State terrorists were arrested and police seized papers outlining a plan to “do a concert” in Jakarta.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome