Source Pravda.Ru

Direct attack on Australia

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said his country will not be intimidated by terrorism, after a bomb at the Australian embassy in Indonesia.

At least nine people were killed and 180 hurt by the blast, believed to be a car bomb.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called the bomb a direct attack on his country, although those killed were all thought to be Indonesian, BBC reported.

Speaking shortly after arriving in Jakarta to oversee a probe into the explosion in which nine people were killed, Downer hit out at the "cruel and callous" attack, pledging to aid Indonesia in apprehending those responsible.

"We have no information that this is associated with the election either in Indonesia which is taking place very soon, or the election in Australia," he told a press conference.

The explosion, which Downer earlier described as a direct attack on his country, occurred exactly one month before Australia is due to hold general elections in which Canberra's role in US-led operations in Iraq is a key issue.

Indonesia is due to hold presidential elections on September 20, informs the Channel News Asia.

According to the Jakarta Post, the blast -- believed to come from a car bomb -- shattered glass and shook the compound, but the structural reinforcements of the building probably helped save lives. Compared to adjacent buildings, the embassy remained relatively undamaged aside from its outer fence which, apart from the main pillars, was obliterated.

The structural reinforcements allowed staff and visitors inside to exit orderly according to practiced emergency drills, and the embassy's public affairs counselor, Elizabeth O'Neill, said no staff inside the building was hurt.

Among those in the embassy at the time of the blast was noted Indonesianist Harold Crouch.

Not so lucky was a security guard stationed near the embassy gate, Anton Sujarwo, who was killed in the blast.

Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/12590_USA.html' target=_blank>The globalization of terror

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/13619_Laden.html' target=_blank>US Terror Threat Lies, again

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