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July 6, 2020, 03.40 PM

JAKARTA, – An explosion rocked the historic, leafy Jakarta district of Menteng on Sunday, July 5. No casualties have been reported.

Central Jakarta Police Department head Chief Police Commissioner Heru Novianto said the explosion occurred at Yusuf Adiwinata Street.

“An explosive device was thrown under a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV parked on the curbside,” said Heru. “The impact punctured one of the tires but caused no other damage to the vehicle or surrounding areas.”

The police found shreds of plastic, pipes and batteries scattered at the scene of the crime.
Heru said the police bomb squad (Gegana) determined that the explosion was caused by fireworks or other similar items, not a bomb.

While the police said they are still awaiting forensics reports due on Monday, July 6, they ruled out terrorism as a motive.

Also read: No Letup in Terrorists' Recruitment Drive in Indonesia amid Coronavirus Pandemic

“Terrorists will use high explosives to put those near the blast scene in danger as they always seek to cause casualties,” Heru said.

“We can determine that it was a low-explosive [device] because of its small impact, lack of casualties or shattered windows. The only damage is to a tire that got punctured by a pipe.”

Jakarta police bomb squad investigate the site of an explosion which rocked Menteng on Sunday, 5 July 2020Joko Supriyanto/ Jakarta police bomb squad investigate the site of an explosion which rocked Menteng on Sunday, 5 July 2020

Determining a motive

Witnesses verified the police’s findings.

“I saw two unidentified men on a motorcycle. One of them threw a black plastic bag [at the Mitsubishi Pajero], then drove off,” eyewtness Hasan told state news agency Antara.

“The explosion occurred soon after. It was louder than a firecracker. But it caused no visible fires, though the owner doused the car with a fire extinguisher.

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“I heard [an] explosion,” recalled Joko to mediaoutlet

“It was loud enough to set off car alarms within a 10-meter radius.” The police are still questioning Hasan, Joko and other witnesses, as well as the damaged car’s owner.

"We are withholding his identity," Heru said of the car owner, adding that police will continue to investigate and try to determine the motives of the suspects.

Terrorists have targeted Jakarta a number of times over the past 20 years, with the most recent attack occurring in 2017.

Menteng itself was last hit by a terrorist attack in 2000, when a car bomb exploded before the Philippine consulate. The bombing killed two people and injured 21 others. 

(Writers: Nursita Sari, Rindi Nuris Velarosdela | Editors: Nursita Sari, Sabrina Asril, Sandro Gatra)


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