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Jakarta Post

Suspicious bag found near Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque not bomb, police say

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 16, 2019   /   07:52 pm
Suspicious bag found near Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque not bomb, police say A suspicious bag, later found to contain clothing, was discovered near Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta. (Shutterstock/Herdik Herlambang)

An unclaimed bag was found on the sidewalk between Istiqlal Mosque and Sriwijaya Hotel in Central Jakarta on Monday afternoon, prompting suspicions about what could be inside. 

After a thorough investigation by the Gegana bomb-disposal squad, Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus announced that the bag did not contain anything dangerous. 

"According to the Gegana bomb squad inspection, the bag contains clothing," he told the press on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

The bag, Yusri added, was discovered by passersby, some of whom reported the suspicious finding to a nearby police station 

The Gegana team arrived soon thereafter.

"Based on our standard operating procedure, only the Gegana team has the authority to examine suspicious discoveries. Apparently, it's a just bag of clothes," he said.

The discovery of the unclaimed bag came only weeks after an explosion within the National Monument complex – located near Istiqlal Mosque – which injured two military officers.

A preliminary examination from the National Police’s laboratory and forensics team indicated that the explosion was caused by a smoke grenade. An investigation is ongoing to ascertain how the device ended up there.

Yusri refuted rumors that there had been an explosion near the Istiqlal Mosque. He said the police seized the bag for security reasons, not to blow it up.

"There was no explosion. That's a hoax," he said.

Yusri's statement, however, contradicted that of Istiqlal Mosque protocol and public relations division head Abu Hurairah, who said the bag had been blown up by the police.

Abu said he had no knowledge of what the bag contained.

"If anyone heard an explosion sound a few hours ago, it was the police. I didn't witness it myself, I had no idea what's inside the bag," Abu said. (vla)