Tue, 16 Sep 2003

Bombing drill panics passers-by

JAKARTA: A bomb planted in a green Datsun car exploded at 11.15 a.m. across from the Artha Graha building in the Sudirman Central Business District in South Jakarta.

In minutes, the police bomb squad had cordoned off the scene, and the deafening sirens of arriving fire trucks filled the air.

Several women in business attire who happened to be passing near the blast site appeared terrified, and attempted to flee the area with their hands over their ears.

However, their panic turned to laughter when they discovered that the "bombing" was only a training exercise carried out jointly by the police, fire brigade and security guards to prepare for further terrorist attacks following the deadly bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel on Aug. 5.

During the exercise, four people pretended to be dead victims, and five others pretended to be suffering from severe injuries. --JP.