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At least 59 hurt in Indonesia church blast


Two churches were hit by bomb blasts in the Indonesian capital on Sunday, witnesses said, including one where Mass was being celebrated.

At least 59 people were hurt, including a man who lost a leg.

The explosions were the latest in a series to rock Jakarta and come at a time of heightened political tensions as President Abdurrahman Wahid fights to stay in office.

All of the injuries resulted from the first blast, which tore through the Catholic Santa Anna church as Mass was being celebrated before a congregation of about 800 people. Church officials said 43 worshippers were injured.

At least 14, including two people who lost limbs, were hospitalised, they said.

"There was a loud explosion. People ran out in panic. There were clouds of thick smoke and things fell down from the roof," said Suryanto, who was leading the service. Like many Indonesians he uses only one name.

Minutes later, a second bomb went off in an empty minibus parked outside a nearby Protestant church. There were no injuries from that blast.

"We are being terrorized by people who don't want peace, but who want to create chaos," said A.B. Susanto, the chairman of the Indonesian Catholic Society.


AP


23-Jul-01