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Indonesia Says No Injuries From Blast Near Embassy in Paris

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March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesian and French authorities are investigating an early morning bomb blast outside the Southeast Asian nation’s embassy in Paris that shattered windows and damaged nearby buildings while causing no injuries.

“We cannot determine yet whether the bomb targeted our embassy,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta today. “We’re working with the local police to secure and make sure that the embassy in Paris is safe and to investigate the perpetrator.”

The blast, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. Paris time today, comes three days after Indonesian police killed five suspected terrorists during raids on the resort island of Bali, and the same day French police surrounded a house in Toulouse where a man claiming ties to al-Qaeda, who is suspected of killing four people at a Jewish school and three soldiers, is holed up.

“French police indicated there were three perpetrators, and the bomb was placed on the sidewalk in front of the embassy,” Marciano Norman, head of Indonesia’s National Intelligence Agency, said at the palace. “I’m not sure if it targeted the embassy, as we didn’t receive any threat letter. All is being investigated by the French police and intelligence.”

Bali Raids

Five suspected terrorists killed by Indonesia’s Detachment-88 squad on Bali March 18 had jihad literature, weapons and ammunition in their possession and were planning robberies to fund attacks, police said.

Authorities have data that links the men to Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, known as JAT, a group founded by Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is serving 15 years in prison for funding terrorism, Ansyaad Mbai, head Indonesia’s National Counterterrorism Agency, said March 20.

Bashir was found guilty of funding terrorism and sentenced on June 16, 2011, five years after his acquittal for links to bombings that killed 202 people in a Bali tourist resort. The October 2002 attacks on a Bali nightclub are blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaeda linked group.

The terrorism trial of Indonesian militant Umar Patek started last month in Jakarta for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali nightclub attack.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agus Suhana at asuhana1@bloomberg.net; Yoga Rusmana in Jakarta at yrusmana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Ahlstrand at gahlstrand@bloomberg.net

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