Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people, in an attack that followed a threat by Islamic State fighters to put the country in their “spotlight”, police said.
Media said six bombs went off and a Reuters witness saw police exchanging fire with gunmen. Several hours after the attacks began, the witness heard more gunfire and at least one more explosion. One blast was in a Starbucks cafe and security forces were later seen entering the building. “The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him,” said a Reuters photographer. Police 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. Police snipers were deployed among hundreds of other security officers, some in armored vehicles.
A UN official, Jeremy Douglas, told the BBC he was about 150m away from one of the first blasts near the UN’s building. “Then we ran into the building. We heard a third explosion. We got up to our office on the tenth floor and we heard a fourth, a fifth and a sixth.” A Reuters photographer said police appeared to be aiming guns at a man on the roof of the building.