Monday 11 November 2002

Unanswered questions in Bali bombing investigations

Indonesian and Australian police are claiming a major breakthrough in their investigation into the Bali bombings, following the questioning of a man in his thirties, Amrozi, who was detained last week in the village of Tenggulun near the east Javan city of Surabaya.

According to police, Amrozi was the owner of the Mitsubishi L300 minivan containing a large bomb that devastated the Sari Club in the Kuta Beach tourist area on the night of October 12 and killed more than 180 people. He is reported to have confessed to building the bomb and to participating in setting it off.

Head of the Indonesian investigating team, General I Made Pastika, said that Amrozi had bought a quantity of the fertiliser ammonium nitrate in Surabaya which was used in building the bomb. According to Pastika, between five and nine other suspects, including several of Amrozi’s brothers, had been identified as part of the plot and were being tracked down by police.

Two other men have been detained for questioning—Muhammad Zakaria, the head of an Islamic boarding school that Amrozi apparently visited, and Silvester Tendean, the owner of the chemical store where Amrozi allegedly bought explosives. Police reported that Amrozi had taken them to several locations in the Balinese provincial capital, Denpasar, which were used by the plotters.

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