Indonesia on security alert as Bali anniversary nears
Bali: Ahead of the tenth anniversary of Bali bombings, Indonesian police have received intelligence that terrorists might be planning to stage attacks targeting the prominent dignitaries attending the ceremony commemorating the incident.
On this Friday, a ceremony will be held at a park in Jimbaran followed by a ground-zero memorial in Kuta to remember the fateful day when 202 people, including 88 Australians and seven Americans were killed when on October 12, 2002 two nightclubs in Bali were bombed.
The ceremony marking a decade of the tragic Bali bombings will be attended by dignitaries like Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel and many diplomats. Others to attend the event are hundreds of survivors of the bombings and victims’ family members.
In spite of the terror threat, Gillard said Wednesday that she would still attend the event.
“Families will be travelling there, it will be a day in which we will pay our respects, and remember what that moment was like for Australians,” Gillard told reporters in Australia’s capital, Canberra.
Indonesian police have warned of terrorists threats ahead of Friday, October 12, and tightened the security at all entry points to the resort island of Bali, raising the country’s security alert to its highest level.
Bali police also said that prior to the event snipers would be placed around memorial sites.
“We have prepared a maximum security arrangement, even for the post-commemoration,” said Bali Police Brig Gen I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana.
“It is better not to underestimate. ... It is better to carry out an excessive security arrangement rather than being defeated,” said Bali police Chief Maj. Gen. Budi Gunawan. “At stake is the image of Indonesia’s police.”
Bali Bombings was carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah, an al Qaeda-linked group.