No Sri Lankans affected in Jakarta attacks - envoy
January 14, 2016 11:14 am
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Darshana Perera, says that so far there have been no reports of any Sri Lankan nationals being affected by the multiple explosions and a gunfight that rocked the capital city Jakarta on Thursday.
He stated that the explosions occurred at around 10.30am this morning while at least four people have been killed, including a police officer.
“No Sri Lankan nationals have been harmed. There are around 130 Sri Lankans living in Jakarta. According to reports received so far, none of them have been affected,” Perera said.
Meanwhile foreign media reports say that the violence left at least six dead and that a gunfight is ongoing, in an attack that followed a threat by Islamic State fighters to put the country in their “spotlight”.
A police spokesman said three police officers and three civilians were killed in the attack, Reuters reported.
According to the official Twitter account of Jakarta police, one explosion went off in front of the Sarinah mall shopping center. Media reported that a police post outside the mall was blown up. The area is also home to luxury hotels and some embassies.
One blast was in a Starbucks cafe and security forces were later seen entering the building, Reuters reported.
Reuters eyewitnesses said three were dead and a gunfight was ongoing in Central Jakarta, while the news agency also reported local television news as saying that a total of six explosions had been heard. Media reports said that suicide bombers may have been involved.
There are reports that casualties included both civilians and police.
Indonesian police said around 10-14 gunmen were involved in the central Jakarta attacks, according to a Reuters report that cited Metro TV. National police spokesman Anton Charliyan told AFP that the police fear there could be more bombs and he warned people to stay away from the area.
Police said they suspected a suicide bomber was responsible for at least one of the blasts and up to 14 militant gunmen were involved in the attack, Metro TV reported.
- With inputs from Agencies