Paper Edition | Page: 1
The police and the Indonesian Military [TNI] are tightening security in Bali following an intelligence warning over a possible terrorist attack during the cere-monies to mark the 10th anniver-sary of the first Bali bombings on Friday.
Bali Police deputy chief Brig.Gen. Ketut Untung Yoga Ana confirmed on Wednesday that the police had obtained information indicating the possibility of a security disturbance aimed at the high-level guests, such as President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who are slated to attend.
More than 1,000 soldiers and 1,000 police officers were on high alert to ensure that Bali is safe from terrorists and security incidents, Yoga said.
“The entire community, including pecalang [traditional security guards], will take care of their own neighborhoods,” he added.
The Army would be responsible for the venues and adjacent areas comprising the first two rings of security, while the police would safeguard the third ring, Yoga said.
Col. Wing Handoko, spokesman for the Udayana Military Regional Command (Kodam) IX, told The Jakarta Post that the Army had made 95 security-related preparations for the bombing anniversary.
“When national leaders attend any event, it is the Army that is responsible for security. There are special security procedures for presidents and prime ministers,” Handoko said.
The Australian Federal Police will be on hand to protect the Australian prime minister, who will be accompanied by high ranking officials and families of the bombing victims.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika told reporters on Wednesday that local law-enforcement and intelligence agencies and the people of Bali had remained vigilant following the bombings in 2002 and 2005.
“That’s the only thing we can do, because Bali is a destination for everybody. We cannot check everybody who wants to come to Bali. There are a lot of entry points to Bali. They can come and go any time because this is a tourist area. That is the biggest problem,” Pastika said.
This year’s commemoration of the bombing is expected to be the largest ever held. The Bali administration also said that this would be the last.
“It’s not easy to forget a tragedy so big, but I think we have to forgive, and with this forgiving spirit we hold this commemoration,” Pastika — who won international respect for leading the investigation of the first Bali bombing when he was then the island’s police chief — said.