Sun, 06 Aug 2000

The left hand of a blast victim found

JAKARTA (JP): A security guard found on Saturday the left hand of Suhantin, alias Titin, one of the two people killed in the bomb blast in front of the residence of Philippine Ambassador Leonides T. Caday on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Central Jakarta last Tuesday.

Aries Wibowo, a security specialist at the residence of City Council speaker Edy Waluyo which is located directly in front of the Ambassador's residence, said he found the left hand because of the stench.

"Construction workers repairing the house (Edy's house), had smelled the bad odor for the past few days.

"But, they couldn't find it until this morning (Saturday morning)," he said.

"I found it in the ditch of the garden.

"We could have found it early in our search, but we didn't suspect that the muddy thing was a left hand of a woman," he said.

"Probably, the explosion also blasted debris, which covered the hand. It was hardly visible as it looked more like a piece of log," he said.

Titin was a housekeeper who worked at the house of Daniel Hutapea, head of the Association of Indonesian Builders (GAPENSI), located next to the ambassador's residence.

Aries said Titin was standing in front of Daniel's house when the bomb exploded.

The bomb blast killed two people -- Titin and Sophian, a security guard at the Ambassador's residence -- and seriously injured 21 people, including the Ambassador.

The bomb exploded shortly before the Philippine envoy entered the gate of his residence at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday. Caday is still being treated at Medistra Hospital in South Jakarta.

After the finding of the hand, Aries informed the police and the hand was then sent to the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital morgue in Central Jakarta.

Menteng Police subprecinct Asst. Supt. Paulus Waterpouw said the hand likely belonged to Titin.

Mun'im Idris, a forensic expert at University of Indonesia (UI) School of Medicine shared the opinion.

"The body of Suhantin was admitted to the morgue without its left hand," he confirmed.


In a related development, Speaker to the House of Representatives (DPR) Akbar Tandjung called on the National Police on Saturday to investigate the how such an "imported" explosive device could enter the country and be exploded at the front gate of the Philippine Amabssador.

"The police should conduct an investigation into the matter," Akbar told reporters after attending a transfer-of-duty ceremony of six DPR/People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) legislators at the legislative building compound.

Akbar was commenting on a statement by National Police Chief Gen. Rusdihardjo on Friday that the explosive material in the bomb was C4, a strong explosive produced in the United States.

"The bomb is like the ones made in the United States," Rusdihardjo said. (lup)