A series of bomb blasts has rocked the Indonesian capital Jakarta this morning, with gun battles on the streets.
Multiple explosives and gunfire were reported near the Sarinah Mall in central Jakarta, Indonesia, at the intersection of Jalan Kyai Haji Wahid Hasyim and Jalan MH Thamrin, a major shopping and business district close to foreign embassies and the United Nations offices.
At least six people are reported to have died in the attack. There were reportedly 10 to 14 attackers involved and Islamic State is suspected of being behind the attack as they recently threatened that Indonesia would be targeted.
National police spokesman Anton Charliyan said while it was not yet clear who carried out the attack, IS had warned of a “concert in Indonesia” which would be international news. He said the attackers had tried to imitate the co-ordinated attacks on Paris and that it was “likely” they were connected to IS, Associated Press reported.
President Joko Widodo called the attacks an “acts of terror” in a televised statement. In his statement, he said “Our nation and our people should not be afraid. We will not be defeated by these acts of terror. I hope the public stays calm. We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people.”
Residents of Jakarta, and across Indonesia taken his statement “We are not afraid” to social media with the hashtag #kamitidaktakut, which was widely used on Twitter in posts offering condolences to the victims or for expressing defiance.
Local police spokesman Col Muhammad Iqbal said the situation was “under control”, with no suspects hiding inside the shopping centre.
Police had initially said there could be up to 14 assailants. Three attackers have been arrested, reports say.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised Britons to follow the instructions of the authorities and limit movements around the affected areas.