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Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Huge death toll from Bali bombing
Scene of devastation after bombing
The bomb targeted a popular nightspot for tourists
At least 182 people are now known to have died in a devastating car bomb blast outside a crowded nightclub on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.


The United States Government condemns in the strongest possible terms this despicable act of terror

US embassy in Indonesia

Hospital officials estimate that 75% of the dead were foreigners, many of them Australians. The victims also included Britons, New Zealanders, Germans and Americans.

The explosion targeted the Sari Club - a nightspot extremely popular with Western tourists in the resort of Kuta - at about 2330 (1530 GMT) on Saturday, as the area was packed with revellers.

US President George W Bush and other world leaders have condemned the attack. Mr Bush urged the international community to confront the "global menace" of terrorism.

More than 300 people were injured in the attack, and others are still missing.

"We must together challenge and defeat the idea that the wanton killing of innocents advances any cause or supports any aspirations. And, we must call this despicable act by its rightful name: murder," President Bush said in a statement.

Indonesia's police chief, General Da'i Bachtiar, said the bombing was "the worst act of terror in Indonesia's history". No-one has yet claimed responsibility.

Fireball after bomb blast
Bali has not seen such a bloody attack before

The American ambassador to Indonesia, Ralph Boyce, said the US had been warning the Indonesian Government of the risk of a major terrorist attack for weeks.

The Sari Club was reduced to a heap of smouldering ruins by the blast, and nearby discos, restaurants and a hotel were also damaged.

Cars and motorbikes parked outside the club became a wall of flame, blocking people's escape.

A doctor said many of the bodies brought into hospitals around the island's capital Denpasar were too charred to be identified.

Click here for a map of the area

Local hospitals are struggling to cope. Ian White, a volunteer at a hospital near the scene of the bombing said there were serious medical shortages and victims were simply being bandaged and shipped out.

Helpline numbers
UK Foreign Office: 0207 008 0000
Australian Foreign Affairs Department: 1800 002 214 or +61 2 6261 3305
New Zealand Foreign Ministry: 0800 432 111
Office of US Citizens' Services: (202) 647 5225/5226

A major evacuation of burns victims has begun by the Australian air force.

The Indonesian President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, visited the scene and vowed to pursue those responsible.

At about the same time of the attack another bomb exploded near the American honorary consulate in Denpasar, although nobody was injured.

"The bombings, once again, should be a warning for all of us that terrorism constitutes a real danger," Ms Megawati said.

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, condemned the attack as a "barbaric, wicked and cowardly" act and said: "The war against terrorism must go on with unrelenting vigour and with an unconditional commitment."

Australia in shock

Among those missing were several members of rugby teams from Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Australia's national airline, Qantas, is putting on extra flights and many holidaymakers are seeking to leave Bali as soon as possible.

Wife of missing Australian football coach on phone
Relatives are desperate for news of loved ones

However, the BBC's Richard Galpin says foreign tourists are still milling around Kuta's bars.

The UK Foreign Office has advised Britons not to travel to Indonesia.

Condemning the attack, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it was "a desperate, terrible act of terrorism aimed at entirely innocent people".

Carnage

British tourist Matt Noyce, from London, was in the bar of the Sari Club when the blast occurred.


Glass was flying everywhere and people were screaming and running in all directions.
Daniel Tyler, England

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"There was just complete panic in the bar with lots of people diving to the door trying to scramble over each other," he said.

"Outside it was awful, it was like a scene you'd see from Vietnam. There were bodies everywhere."

Bali was regarded as a peaceful, mainly-Hindu enclave in the world's most populous Muslim nation. The BBC's Richard Galpin in Bali says it may have been seen as a soft target for anyone who wished to attack Westerners.

The bombing followed persistent US warnings that American nationals in Indonesia were at risk of being targeted by Islamic militants linked to the al-Qaeda terror group.

The US embassy in Jakarta closed for several days last month after intelligence reports warned of possible car bomb attacks.

Authorities in neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore have claimed that members of a group known as Jemaah Islamiyah - said to be seeking to set up an Islamic state in South East Asia - are based in Indonesia.

The blasts in Bali came just hours after a small hand-made bomb went off near the Philippine consulate in the port city of Manado on the central island of Sulawesi, north-east of Jakarta.



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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Clive Myrie
"The explosion created an unstoppable fireball"
Hospital volunteer Ian White
"The local mobile phone companies are broadcasting for blood donors"

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