Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Saturday, 1 November 2008

Execution of Bali bombers 'near'

Convicted Bali bomber Amrozi
Amrozi is known as the "smiling bomber"

Speculation is mounting in Indonesia that three men convicted over the 2002 Bali bombings may shortly be executed.

Reports say that the men - sentenced to death five years ago for their roles in the attacks which killed 202 people - have been placed in isolation.

Indonesia's government earlier said the men would be shot in early November.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron (also known as Mukhlas) have said they hope that their executions will trigger revenge attacks.

Correspondents say the bombers' families are unlikely to receive prior notification, as the authorities seek to avoid an Islamist backlash.

Execution order

They were found guilty of planning the twin attacks on nightclubs at Bali's tourist resort of Kuta. The bombings were said to have been carried out by militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

A source at the Nusakambangan maximum security prison, where the three are being held, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that an execution order had been issued.

Imam Samudra (L) and Mukhlas (Ali Ghufron) at a demonstration at their jail on 13 October 2007
The bombers launched multiple challenges against their sentences
A pledge by the attorney general to see them die by Ramadan - which fell in early September - was not met.

However in a statement several days ago, his office said the executions would be carried out "at the beginning of November".

Last month, Indonesia's Constitutional Court rejected defence arguments that the three should be beheaded instead of being executed by firing squad, which, they argued, did not guarantee instant death and would amount to torture.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Jakarta says few Indonesians support the bombers, but the execution of men who say they were defending Islamic values is likely to spark a reaction.

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