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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 December 2004, 06:51 GMT
Jakarta shaken by 'meteor blast'
By Rachel Harvey
BBC News, Jakarta

Meteor shower over Asia in 1999
Did a meteor like this break up over Jakarta?
Reports of unexplained explosions caused alarm on Sunday morning in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Indonesia is on a heightened state of alert following warnings that militants may be planning an attack over the Christmas period.

However, Sunday's blasts may not have been made by man but by an extra-terrestrial phenomenon - a large meteor breaking up in the atmosphere.

Some residents reported seeing a large object falling from the sky.

White fire

Local television and radio stations reported an object with a tail of white fire streaking across the sky followed by a loud bang.

Other reports spoke of a series of explosions at around 0730 local time (0030GMT).

Jakarta, like the rest of the country, is on high alert as Christmas approaches.

Extra police have been drafted in to guard places of worship, shopping malls and international hotels as part of increased security measures dubbed Operation Candle.

However, experts say the most likely explanation for Sunday morning's bang was a large meteor exploding as it burned up in Earth's atmosphere.


SEE ALSO:
Australia alert on Indonesia attack
15 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
20 Oct 04 |  Country profiles
Indonesia's flashpoints
01 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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