Tue, 19 Aug 2003

East Java police tighten security

SURABAYA: The East Java Police declared on Sunday a red alert status across the province for an indefinite period as they were trying to deter possible terror attacks, officials said.

East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Heru Sutanto said that the stern measures were aimed at stopping terrorists from launching an attack in the province.

"The order came from the National Police chief. The police will guard all public facilities as well as offices which could be vulnerable to attack," he told reporters over the weekend.

Heru also said that the heightened security was consistent with the order from the Coordinating Ministry for Political and Security Affairs not to allow any opportunity for terrorism to spread across the country.

The police has also tightened security in hotels, increased patrols and told Islamic boarding school's to screen their students.

Provincial police spokesman, Sr. Comr. Sad Harunantyo said that bomb hoaxes had been escalating in the province following the blast at the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta on Aug. 5.

Last week alone, the police recorded five bomb threats, up from two in the previous week, Harunantyo said.

The JW Marriott Hotel in Surabaya, as well as a McDonald's in Surabaya, were among those which received bomb threats. -- JP