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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Indonesian police sketch Bali suspects
Supporters of Ba'asyir outside hospital room
Supporters of Mr Ba'asyir keep watch outside his room
An Indonesia official has said that sketches have been made of three possible suspects in the Bali bombing.

Major General Made Magku Pastika, who leads the investigation, said the three - all male Indonesians - had not been named and no further details, including their religion, had been released.

Vice-President Hamzah Haz visiting the scene of the Bali bomb
Vice-President Hamzah Haz has visited Bali
He said that the sketches would be used internally by police and only released if the men became official suspects.

On Wednesday the US listed the Islamic militant group, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), widely blamed for the attacks, as a terrorist group.

The designation, which now applies to 34 organisations, places a freeze on any assets the group may have in the US, bars it from raising money in the US and denies US visas to members.

Mr Pastika refused to say whether JI was linked to the attacks, but national police chief General Da'i Bachtiar said the bombing had similarities to attacks by a suspected leading figure in JI known as Hambali, South-East Asia's most wanted man.

Police are still waiting to interview JI's alleged leader, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, in his hospital bed over a string of bombings in Indonesia two years ago.

The 12 October bomb at a nightclub on the holiday island of Bali killed at least 190 people, mostly young Westerners.

'No mercy'

Indonesian Vice-President Hamzah Haz paid his first visit to the scene of the bombing on Wednesday and said the attackers "aimed to break up Indonesia and to paralyse the economy."

"Whoever the terrorists are, Muslims or non-Muslims or even Muslim clerics, there will be no mercy for them."

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir in a hospital bed
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir denies links with terrorism
The vice-president until recently denied the existence of a terror network in Indonesia and has defended Muslim radicals, like Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.

Indonesia has detained Mr Ba'asyir on suspected involvement in bombings of Christian churches in December 2000.

He is also suspected of plotting to kill the president before she came to office.

Mr Ba'asyir has denied any links to JI or to terrorism.

Containment

Policemen and supporters of the 64-year-old cleric have been standing watch outside his hospital room, with more supporters gathering outside the hospital.

Doctors say Mr Ba'asyir is suffering respiratory, heart and ulcer problems.

Mr Ba'asyir's supporters have threatened protests if police try to move the cleric to the capital Jakarta.

However, the government hopes it can contain any unrest from radical Muslims, who make up a small minority of Indonesia's mostly moderate Muslim population.

The government has the backing of the country's two largest Islamic groups for a new anti-terrorism decree rushed through days after the Bali bomb.


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21 Oct 02 | Politics
21 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Oct 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
21 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
23 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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