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Terrorists Hit Jakarta, And Indonesians Say "#KamiTidakTakut" — We Are Not Afraid

A damaged Starbucks coffee shop is seen in central Jakarta, after a series of explosions hit a popular shopping area Thursday.
Adek Berry
AFP/Getty Images
A damaged Starbucks coffee shop is seen in central Jakarta, after a series of explosions hit a popular shopping area Thursday.

Attackers set off explosions inside or near a Starbucks in a busy shopping area in Indonesia's capital city Thursday, killing at least seven people — including five attackers — and injuring more than a dozen others, according to police and officials. In the hours since the assault, people in Jakarta have taken to Twitter to declare, "We Are Not Afraid."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says the situation is now under control. He visited the site hours after the attack, walking down the middle of a street in Indonesia's capital that's lined with Western brands such as Burger King and Pizza Hut.

At least one of the civilians killed and four of those injured were believed to be foreigners, police say. The U.N. Environment Programme said a Dutch staff member is among the injured.

Images from the scene show the Starbucks cafe's windows were blown out — and in startling footage that's been posted online, an amateur video caught what seems to be another explosion that followed, occurring in clear view next to a parked van. (We'll warn you that in its final seconds, the video shows a fiery explosion engulfing several people.)

Many suspect ISIS either helped plan or inspired the attack. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that ISIS claimed responsibility on a website linked to the extremist group.

The attack occurred around midmorning on a sunny day along Jalan Thamrin, one of Jakarta's main streets. According to local and wire reports, three suicide bombers set off their explosives — and then two gunmen opened fire on a police post. A gun battle ensued, with police taking cover behind vehicles in the street.

National Police spokesman Inspector General Anton Charliyan is quoted by the AP as saying, "They imitated the terror actions in Paris ... they are likely from the (Islamic State) group."

Charliyan also said that after November's attacks in Paris, authorities in Indonesia were warned that their country could also be targeted.

People in Indonesia are responding to the attack with defiance — in Jakarta, "We Are Not Afraid" — #KamiTidakTakut — became the top-trending topic. And a man took to Instagram to post a photo of himself enjoying one of Starbucks' coffee drinks. The image quickly racked up more than 18,000 likes.

Discussing the history of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, NPR's Anthony Kuhn tells our Newscast unit:

"In recent years, Indonesian security forces have effectively kept domestic terrorism in check, and they have killed or jailed many militants. Terrorists haven't had the capacity to mount any major attacks since 2009, when suicide bombers attacked the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta. Today's attacks would appear to be the most serious since then."

This is a breaking news story, and even information that's released by official channels is subject to clarification or correction. We'll update this post as needed.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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