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Australian man injured in Jakarta bombing -

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Australian man injured in Jakarta bombing

Geoff Thompson reported this story on Friday, July 17, 2009 12:55:00

PETER CAVE: An Australian man has reportedly been injured in the blast at the Marriott.

A caller called, Jim told Fairfax Radio's 3AW in Melbourne that his son had phoned to tell him of a
massive blast.

TALKBACK CALLER JIM: He was in the building and all of a sudden there was an enormous explosion and
he was bleeding from the left leg although from what I can gather the injury is not serious and
lost his hearing in one ear but he thinks that he will recover from that and he is on his way to
hospital and he doesn't know the extent of any injuries to other people but no doubt there would
be.

PETER CAVE: Caller Jim on Melbourne radio 3AW this morning.

Let's go back to Geoff Thompson who is outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. Geoff, what else have
you been able to find out over the last hour?

GEOFF THOMPSON: What we are hearing from police Peter, is that they are now saying that six people
are injured. Now local TV is reporting ... sorry dead, and local TV are reporting that up to 11
people are dead. We are hearing that up to 18 people are injured. It is obviously a confused
situation at the moment.

The security authorities got in and shut this place down very quickly and it is hard to get in to
where the actual site is but I did actually meet an Australian embassy official in the area who
actually had a child who was injured in the blast. Not seriously, just a cut foot, something like
that.

What I did learn is that Australian embassy officials do use these two hotels and adjoining
buildings for accommodation. There are Australian embassy officials staying in those buildings but
preliminary checks suggest that no embassy staff have been hurt or otherwise.

So that is where we are at at the moment.

PETER CAVE: Geoff, have you had a chance to see the extent of the damage to both hotels?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Can't get in there at the moment, Peter. It is like a sort of circular, it is a
like a big roundabout that only has certain access points and those access points have been, at
least the ones we tried, have been cut off.

All the access, when the explosion first happened but security gone in and closed those roads off
pretty quickly.

We are working our way around the various access points trying to get closer to see firsthand but
apart from some glass and blown apart trees in the distance, I haven't been able to see it myself.

TONY EASTLEY: Are the ambulances still going in and out or does it appear to be under control now?

GEOFF THOMPSON: No there are ambulances still, we have ambulances come and go and health workers
coming and go. As I said before, there doesn't seem to be anything, any flame or anything
continuing like that. That seems to have been put out.

The other thing is the police have not yet confirmed that they are terrorist attacks. That is of
course, what is expected. They do say that there seems to be two attacks in two different hotels
and I can tell you now they were about 10 minutes apart or 10 seconds apart. It was the first
attack was at 7.41 this morning and the second attack was at 7.55.

The first one being at the JW Marriott. The second one being at the Ritz Carlton.

PETER CAVE: Geoff Thompson live on the scene there.

Matt Brown our national security correspondent joined me in the studio.

Matt, what are Australian authorities going to do about this bombing?

MATT BROWN: It is very early days obviously. I can tell you as of this minute, there has been no
formal request made for assistance by the Indonesian authorities although the Australian
intelligence and law enforcement agency heads have scrambled, cancelled all their meetings to
prepare for a national security committee meeting mid-afternoon on the east coast.

What that means is that they will be providing their best advice, advice they can get about what
they think has happened but also how they might be able to help depending on what the Indonesians
ask for.

Federal agency in Jakarta will be going to the scene where Geoff is now. They will also be in
talking to their Indonesian counterparts. I expect that the Prime Minister will make a statement
this evening as a result of what those agents in Jakarta are telling their superiors and what that
national security committee meeting decides.

In the past Australia has provided forensic medical experts that can help identify the remains of
people who have been victims but given the low number of casualties, maybe that is not necessarily
appropriate.

It would be especially useful if suicide bombers though have been involved and also there the is
Australian Bomb Data Centre which can help trace the kind of explosives used, maybe even things
like the components in the explosives which can give them clues to get to whose done this.

PETER CAVE: There seems to have been what the security forces like to call "chatter" that a bombing
was about to happen.

Will they be able to go back now and work through that to try and find out who organised it?

MATT BROWN: If that is the case, yes. They can certainly use that. It is a very valuable tool. The
Indonesian terrorist organisations have spent a lot of energy setting up websites with password
protected access to bomb making material instructions, that kind of thing.

They are also been able to look at who has been making phone calls in that region. Work out who
else they were calling. Look for patterns that can establish just by looking back at the phone
records, what are the networks, what are the groups of people, the clusters who are calling each
other.

PETER CAVE: Matt Brown.