Three more suspects arrested for Jakarta bombings

Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Police have arrested three more people for a spate of bombings in the capital, raising the total number of suspects to 30, officers said Wednesday.

Police Col. Alex Bambang Riatmodjo said the men were detained Tuesday night in the city of Bandung, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Jakarta.

He said the latest suspects were not directly involved in the bombings, but allegedly supplied guns and ammunition to those who carried out the attacks.

News reports said the three were arrested in possession of a grenade, three handguns, and 129 round of ammunition.

On the weekend, police detained 27 suspects for the bombings, including two Indonesian soldiers who were apprehended after an exchange of gunfire.

Army chief of staff Gen. Tyasno Sudarto said one of the two military personnel was a member of the army’s strategic reserve. The other belongs to the crack Kopassus commando unit, which specializes in counter-terrorist tactics and has been accused of human rights abuses.

Sudarto described the bombings, including one at the Jakarta Stock Exchange that left 15 people dead on Sept. 13, as “terrorist acts” and promised to take firm action against the two soldiers.

Indonesia’s Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri visited Kopassus headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday and said the arrest of one of their members should not shame the whole corps.

She said she hoped the U.S.-trained special forces would be able to “maintain their good name” by being loyal to the state and the government.

Kopassus members also trained and armed the murderous militia gangs in East Timor that killed hundreds and destroyed the territory after its people voted for independence in a U.N. referendum last year.

In addition to the blast at the stock exchange, there have been several other bombings recently, including a car bomb outside the Philippine ambassador’s residence that killed two people and injured dozens.

The blasts had coincided with advances in a corruption case against former dictator Suharto, and many have speculated they were the work of his supporters and elements of the security forces opposed to Wahid’s democratic reforms.