Bali bombings: Two men questioned

Two men have been detained for questioning over the suicide bombings at three crowded restaurants on Indonesia’s Bali island, police said on Tuesday, though they have not been officially named as suspects.

Major General I Made Mangku Pastika had few details about the men, who were taken in on Sunday and could be held several more days, saying only that they are not Balinese.

Indonesian officials earlier said the near-simultaneous bombings that killed 22 people and wounded more than 104 others apparently were planned by two Malaysians — still at large — who are believed to be connected to the al-Qaeda-linked regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.

The organisation, terror experts say, has been decimated by a series of arrests since the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, but may have formed alliances with other organisations or individuals.

Pastika said on Tuesday it was too early to blame Azahari and Noordim directly — or Jemaah Islamiyah.

”We still do not know that,” he told reporters, adding that investigators’ first priority was identifying the three bombers, who wore explosives — packed with ball bearings and other shrapnel to maximise casualties — around their waists or in bags over their shoulders.

Once they are identified, ”we can trace which group they’re from”, he told reporters.

The blasts blew up the bombers’ torsos, but left their heads intact.

Pictures of the heads — bruised and swollen but remarkably well-preserved — have appeared in national newspapers and investigators have announced hotlines. But Pastika said that so far, no one has come forward.

”We need the participation of all people in Indonesia,” he said. ”The pictures of them are clear and they are easy to recognise.”

Police have also questioned 39 witnesses about the bombings, said deputy national police spokesman Brigadier General Sunarko Danu Artanto. — Sapa-AP

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