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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 06:45 GMT 07:45 UK
Bali struggles to identify dead
Beach vigil
The victims were remembered at a beach vigil
Anxious foreign tourists have been cutting short holidays to the Indonesian resort island of Bali after the carnage of Saturday's massive bomb attack at a Kuta nightspot.

I think we have to assume it is al-Qaeda

President Bush
But while thousands boarded extra flights out of the resort, others joined morgue-workers in the grim work of identifying the scores of bodies left by the attack.

With the death toll close to 200 and hundreds injured, Indonesia and US President George W Bush have singled out the Islamic militant group al-Qaeda and its local allies as the likely perpetrators.

Enlarge image
Enlarge image

Aerial view of the devastation

Indonesian police say 10 Pakistani men volunteered to give themselves up for questioning over the bomb attack - they were later released.

After a meeting late on Monday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the bombing and voted unanimously to remind all countries of their obligation to fight terrorism.

Australian and American forensic experts have arrived in Bali to attempt to identify the remains of the dead through DNA testing.

The hospital-turned-morgue in Bali's capital, Denpasar, has been overwhelmed by the number of bodies.

Overflowing morgue

Backpackers and local college students are among those who have volunteered to help with the harrowing task of identifying the victims' remains.

Only 44 bodies have been positively identified out of a confirmed death toll of at least 181: 20 Australians, eight Britons, six Indonesians, five Singaporeans, and one citizen each from the Netherlands, Ecuador, France, Germany and New Zealand.

I spent the whole day matching photographs to their badly burned-out faces

Nanette Parthezius
Australian volunteer
"I am very tired," one Australian woman, Nanette Parthezius, told Associated Press at Denpasar's Sanglah Hospital on Monday.

"I spent the whole day matching photographs to their badly burned-out faces. It was very draining mentally."

Indonesian officials struggling to identify the remains have appealed for families of victims, which lie wrapped in white cloth or plastic, to provide data to help in identifying them.

Australia and Britain have promised to send six refrigerated containers to help preserve bodies and body parts.

Many of the foreign citizens injured have been airlifted out of Bali - hundreds to Australia alone - and local hospital care is now concentrated on the 100 or so local people badly injured in the attack.

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas reports that the patients are having to pay for their own medical care and there have been complaints that Balinese were not allowed onto the Australian airlifts, despite places being available.

'Never coming back'

The bomb outside the Sari Club discotheque at Kuta Beach went off when the area was packed with Australians and other foreigners.

I was in Paddy's pub, 20 metres away - all your worst nightmares mixed up together, after one big ball of fire
Daan Zuur, Netherlands

One Australian tourist interviewed by the BBC said he would never return to Bali, seen as a backpackers' paradise up until Saturday's attack:

"I'm not coming back again. I've been here seven, eight times, and I won't be coming back."

Australia has declared next Sunday a day of national mourning.


No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Helpline numbers
Office of US Citizens' Services: 202 647 5225/5226
UK Foreign Office: 020 7008 0000
Australian Foreign Affairs Department: 1-800 002 214 or 02 6261 3305
New Zealand Foreign Ministry: 0800 432 111

"I think we have to assume it is al-Qaeda," President Bush said on Monday.

He said the blast fitted a pattern of recent attacks and showed that it would take a while to succeed against terrorism.

Earlier, Indonesia, an overwhelmingly Muslim state, admitted for the first time to the possibility that al-Qaeda - the group held responsible for last year's 11 September terror attacks on the US - is operating on its soil.

"I am not afraid to say, though many have refused to say, that an al-Qaeda network exists in Indonesia," Defence Minister Matori Abdul Djalil said in Jakarta.

"The Bali bomb blast is related to al-Qaeda with the co-operation of local terrorists."


About 200 people gathered on Kuta beach as the sun set on Monday to hold hands and light candles in a vigil for the dead.

Bali's pull has always been its gentle way of life, our correspondent writes - a tropical island with easy charms and an open welcome for outsiders.

For many at the vigil it was a spirit that had been violated and they feared Bali would struggle to recover from the blow.

The BBC's Jonathan Head
"Still dressed for the beach they came to say farewell"
Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister
"Eradicate this evil in our world"
Slamet Hidayat, Indonesian Charge d' Affaires to UN
"The attack underlines that the terrorists could attack any country in the world"

Key stories




See also:

14 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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