BELGRADE – At least six blasts went off in the city center of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in an apparent terrorist attack involving suicide bombers. Witnesses describe casualties, chaotic scenes, and exchanges of gunfire with police.
At least four people have so far been confirmed killed in the attack. The official Twitter account of the Jakarta police said that the explosions went off in front of a shopping center known as Sarinah mall. Police say attackers arrived on motorcycles and threw grenades, ABC’s Indonesia correspondent Adam Harvey reported.
There were 10 to 14 attackers involved in the Jakarta blasts, the channel reported citing local media.
At least four people have been killed, including police officers, in Jakarta, police said, adding that Islamic State militants might have been behind the deadly blasts.
“We have previously received a threat from Islamic State that Indonesia will be in the spotlight,” police spokesman Anton Charliyan said.
Eyewitnesses have reported an exchange of gunfire following the explosions, while at least three bodies were seen lying on the ground.
A police officer is among the four dead, according to local authorities.
At least one suicide bomber set off the explosions, Reuters quoted Indonesia’s national police spokesman as saying.
Meanwhile, an active shooter is reported to be on scene.
Images from the scene reveal that the explosions caused damage to a checkpoint near the UN Information Center and a Starbucks coffee shop.
“The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him,” a Reuters photographer reported from the city’s center.
Police are asking people to stay away from windows, Jeremy Douglas, a United Nations Regional Representative, tweeted from the UN building.
There are also several luxury hotels, offices, and embassies, including that of France, in the area where the blasts occurred.
Police have cordoned off the area and are keeping reporters away from the scene.
Another blast was reported in Jakarta’s western suburb of Palmerah, according to Reuters.