Embassy evacuated after bombings

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The Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta was evacuated and a Norwegian woman was among the injured after bombs went off at two luxury hotels in Indonesia’s capital early Friday. Norway’s embassy is located next door to one of the hotels, believed to be a target of coordinated terrorist attacks.

The JW Marriott Hotel adjacent to the embassy was hit along with Jakarta’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel almost simultaneously. Nine people were confirmed dead, five of them foreign visitors in Jakarta.

Around 50 persons were injured including a Norwegian woman whose name was found by embassy personnel on a list of injured provided by local hospitals. Ragnhild Imerslund of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry told Aftenposten.no that the woman, reportedly on a business trip to Jakarta, was believed to have suffered only minor injuries in the blast.

The ministry was forced to immediately close its embassy next to the JW Marriott Hotel but no embassy personnel were injured nor was the building damaged in the bombings. A ministry spokesperson told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that embassy operations would re-open “in another location.” Normal operations were expected to resume on Tuesday.

Norway’s biggest company, energy concern StatoilHydro, has offices in Jakarta but Aftenposten.no reported that none of its employees were at either hotel when the bombs went off early in the morning Indonesian time.

Indonesia, a Muslim country, conducted peaceful, democratic elections earlier this month. Its capital was hit by terrorist bombings in 2003, and the radical Islamic organization Jemaah Islamiah was blamed for being behind the attack. The organization was also blamed for the terrorist attack on Bali in 2002, which claimed more than 200 lives.