Explosions and gunfire in Jakarta leave 5 gunmen, 2 civilians dead

BY    | Updated: Jan 14, 2016 at 2:25 PM
A police armored personnel carrier is seen parked near the scene of an attack in central Jakarta on Jan. 14, 2016. Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, leaving seven people, including five gunmen, dead. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

A police armored personnel carrier is parked near the scene of an attack in central Jakarta on Jan. 14. Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, leaving seven people, including five gunmen, dead. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Several attackers set off a series of explosions that targeted downtown Jakarta on Thursday and exchanged gunfire with Indonesian authorities, leaving at least seven people, including five assailants, dead.

Updated: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on its website.

The blasts focused on the Sarinah shopping center in the Indonesian capital with at least one explosion at a Starbucks cafe. Initial images of the aftermath showed bodies in the streets, as police arrived at the cafe, engaging the suspects in a shootout. More explosions soon followed.

Hours after the first blast, police said five suspects and two civilians were killed and 10 more people were injured. A Dutch man was among the dead, Indonesia’s security minister Luhut Panjaitan said.

Police officers react near the site of a blast in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 14, 2016. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Police officers position themselves near the site of a blast in Jakarta, Indonesia on Jan. 14. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Indonesian President Joko Widodo appeared on national TV to say the situation was “under control” and to call for calm.

“This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people,” he said. “The state, the nation and the people should not be afraid of, and lose to, such terror acts.”

It’s unclear whether the attackers detonated bombs or grenades.

The violent scene unfolded near foreign embassies and U.N. offices in a city of 10 million people. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.

The last major attacks were the 2009 bombings at two hotels in Jakarta that killed seven people and wounded 50 others. In 2002, bombings in Bali killed 202 people.

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