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Indonesia releases sketches of suspected bombers

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 12:43

Jakarta: Indonesia on Wednesday released sketches of the faces of two Indonesian men they suspect were the suicide bombers in near-simultaneous attacks on two luxury hotels in Jakarta.
Friday`s attacks at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton killed nine people and wounded 53, including foreigners and Indonesians. Police suspect the involvement of Jemaah Islamiah, the militant Muslim group responsible for previous bombings in the region.

The sketches are based on two heads found at bomb sites.

"We believe these were the suicide bombers," Indonesian police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said as he held up the sketches at a press briefing.

One shows a chubby-faced, dark-skinned man, who police said was between 20 and 40 and was about 165 cm in height, with short, straight black hair. His remains were found at the Ritz-Carlton.

The second suspect, found at the Marriott, had a thinner, more oval-shaped face, was lighter-skinned and had short, straight black hair. Police said he was 20 to 25 and about 180 cm in height.

Police said on Wednesday that DNA samples taken from the family of Nurhasbi, who has school links to members of Jemaah Islamiah and whom local media had named as one of the suspected suicide bombers, did not match samples found at the bomb site. The bombers checked in to the Marriott as paying guests on July 15 and assembled the bombs in room 1808 on the 18th floor, according to police. A third bomb, found in a laptop computer bag, was defused.

A police source said on Monday that one theory the police are working on is that the bombers planned to detonate the bomb on the 18th floor first, sending panicking guests rushing down to the lobby where one of the suicide bombers would detonate a second bomb, potentially killing and injuring many more guests.

Meanwhile, Indonesian television is reporting that one of the wives of Southeast Asia`s most-wanted militant has been detained less than a week after bombs on luxury hotels in Jakarta killed seven people.

Anti-terrorism police detained Ariana Rahma, who is married to Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohammad Top, the channels reported without sourcing.

Broadcasters TVOne and MetroTV said on Wednesday that she is to be questioned by police in the capital, Jakarta, where suicide bombers last Friday at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton killed seven and wounded more than 50.

Noordin allegedly planned the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings and attacks on the JW Marriott and Australian Embassy in 2003 and 2004. Together they killed more than 240 people.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 12:43
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