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Homeland Security

Australia Condemns 'Murderous' Bombings in Bali

02 October 2005

The Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said he is ''horrified" by a series of bomb blasts on the Indonesian island of Bali that have killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100. An Australian teenager is among the dead and other victims include Indonesians as well as tourists from Korea, Japan and the United States.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the apparent suicide bombings of three crowded restaurants were "an indiscriminate, murderous attack."

No one has yet admitted responsibility for the blasts in the two tourist areas on the Indonesian resort island and Mr. Howard said no specific threat had been received before Saturday night's explosions.

But Australian government officials have suggested that Jemaah Islamiyah could well have been responsible. The radical Islamic organization was widely blamed for the bombings in Bali three years ago, in which more than 200 people died, including 88 Australians.

The Australian prime minister believes the bombers are trying to weaken the government of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"They don't like us. They don't like Westerners. They don't like what we believe in. They don't like what we do but their primary goal is to undermine democratic Indonesia," said Mr. Howard. "It's a very big prize for the terrorists. It's the biggest Islamic country in the world. It's now led by a man of great gifts and a very moderate, decent man and terrorists don't like moderate, successful democratic Islamic leaders."

Some seriously injured Australian holidaymakers are being flown home for emergency surgery. It is believed they have suffered massive head and chest wounds caused by shrapnel. Other survivors will be treated in Singapore.

Canberra has offered to send police officers to help with the investigation as well as emergency medical supplies and has warned all Australians in Bali to stay inside their hotels.

Some relatives of Australians killed in the 2002 attacks in Bali believe the latest atrocities were a form of retaliation against Canberra's support of the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Saturday's explosions are the latest in a series of bombings in Indonesia in the last three years. Following the October 2002 Bali bombs, attacks on the Jakarta Marriott hotel in August 2003 and the Australian embassy in September 2004 left a total of 24 people dead.

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