The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI), a body of Muslim scholars, has come out strongly condemning the bombings in Jakarta that killed seven people on Thursday 14 January. In a quick response to the attacks, the body urged Indonesians to remain calm and let the police handle the situation.
The organisation's Secretary General Anwar Abbas said: "MUI expresses its deepest condolences for the victims and hopes their families are given strength in the face of their heavy ordeals. MUI condemns any acts of violence committed by whomsoever because they are against religious teachings and hurt people."
MUI also urged the government to take action against those responsible for the attacks. It also urged all parties not to link the bombings with Islam or other religions because religions do not condone terrorism. Indonesian President Joko Widodo had earlier also condemned the bombings and shootouts near the Sarinah shopping centre and one in the Starbucks cafe in the shopping mall.
He said: "The state, the nation, and the people should not be defeated by terror. I hope the people would stay calm." The President who was on a visit to Cirebon had cut short his visit following the terror attacks.
Police have said they had 'neutralised' all the perpetrators of the bomb blasts at the Thamrin Boulevard in central Jakarta. Senior Commissioner M.Iqbal, the spokesman for the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police confirmed that a total of seven people were killed in the attacks. An Indonesian and Canadian were victims of the attack while five of the attackers were also killed.
Twenty people, including an Algerian, Austrian, German and Dutchman - identified by local papers as Johannes Antonius Maria - were injured and taken to the Gatot Subroto Hospital nearby.
Iqbal said that there were only two bomb blasts and the other explosions heard were due to the shootout between police officers and the suspected terrorists. A police officer was also seriously injured in the incident. Iqbal said police were combing several buildings near the scene for any bombs.