Mon, 17 Sep 2001

Bombers spread terrors, hatred

JAKARTA (JP): Preliminary questioning of alleged bombers revealed that they planted bombs to incite terror and sow hatred between people of different religions in the country, an officer said on Saturday.

"So far we've had a confession that the arrested bombers wanted to see people of different religions blaming and fighting each other," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Anton Bachrul Alam told reporters.

Police also got an indication that the next target of the groups was mosques.

"We believe that the people are merely the hit men and it's not easy to make them reveal who their boss is," Anton said.

Police have apprehended 14 people, including three Malaysians, for allegedly being involved in the Atrium Plaza bombing in Central Jakarta, and a series of church bombings in the city earlier this year and on Christmas Eve throughout the country last year.

Some of them also confessed that they had been involved in communal clashes in the Maluku islands.

Earlier, police blamed Acehnese separatists, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the fugitive Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra as being behind the bombings. (emf)