Hotel Explosions Kill 9 in Indonesia

By: Updated from the New York Times
By: Updated from the New York Times

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Nearly simultaneous explosions hit two neighboring American hotels in central Jakarta early Friday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens, according to local officials.

Police standing guard in front of the damaged Ritz-Carlton hotel after an explosion in Jakarta on Friday.

The explosions damaged the Marriott Hotel and Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The blasts shattered windows just above the ground floor of the Ritz-Carlton, and thick plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the site.

The Associated Press quoted a government security official as saying 9 people were killed and 50 were injured in the explosions.

In 2003, a car bomb badly damaged the Marriot Hotel and killed 12 people. Earlier this decade, Islamic terrorists operating in Indonesia attacked a succession of Western-linked buildings.

Witnesses at the scene told Indonesian Metro TV that the injured, including Indonesians and foreigners, were seen being taken away in ambulances.

"Some windows of the Ritz-Carlton building have been shattered, mostly on the lower section. I’m looking at it from my office," said Myra Junor, who works at a nearby building.

Lydia Ruddy, a witness who lives in the area, told Reuters she could see debris everywhere.

She said she heard an explosion and saw smoke coming from the Marriott, followed five minutes later by another explosion at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is in the same area.

An Australian man told local Radio 2UE that his son had been hurt at the Marriott and was being taken to hospital.

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