Explosions Tear Through Jakarta, Islamic State Claims Responsibility

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Explosions have rocked Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, killing at least seven people in the area. Islamic State militants have immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The explosions hit at least two locations in Thamrin Street, a Starbucks café and a police security installation, the BBC reports. The area is not far from both the U.S. Embassy and the presidential palace. Thamrin is a major business district in the region and a prime target for Islamic militants.

One attacker blew himself up by the Starbucks. Two others outside started shooting civilians, killing a Canadian. In a nearby location, a second group of terrorists targeted a police station.

After the militants hit Starbucks, they moved into Djakarta Theater, which is in the same complex as the coffee shop. Police then exchanged fire with the militants, which resulted in the deaths of two of the militants. But once the military was brought in, all five attackers soon died.

According to The New York Times, the Indonesian National Police said the militants employed grenades and guns in the assault. The SITE Intelligence Group determined after its examination of post-attack propaganda that the Islamic State had claimed responsibility. Police said the militants were interested in attacking western symbols.

Injuries at the scene are wide-ranging and include five policemen, four foreigners and 14 civilians. More deaths and injuries are likely to be reported soon.

Police have insisted that “there are no more attackers around Sarinah. We have taken control,” but the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta warned there may very well be more follow-up attacks. The main areas in Jakarta are under complete security lockdown.

“The US embassy strongly urges US citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security,” the embassy said in a statement. “US citizens are encouraged to monitor local and international media and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.”

Indonesia has suffered attacks in the past, the most recent of which was in 2009 when two suicide bombers killed seven people after they detonated themselves at two hotels. The attack also injured over 50.

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