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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Confusion over Bali terror warning

Scene of Bali bomb attack in 2005
Bali was targeted by big bomb attacks in 2002 and 2005

There is confusion over a warning issued by the US embassy in Indonesia of a possible New Year's Eve terror attack on the resort island of Bali.

On its website, the US embassy quoted the island's governor as saying there was an "indication" of an attack.

However a spokesman from the governor's office told Reuters news agency the governor had made no such statement.

Several bombings have targeted Westerners in Bali, with more than 200 killed in attacks in 2002 and 2005.

The US embassy warning quoted a message from the Bali governor, Mangku Pastika, who said that there was an "indication" of an attack on Bali on Thursday night.

The message added that people should not panic, but that security systems should be put on "full alert".

But Putu Suardika, head of public relations at the office of the Bali governor, denied that such a statement had been made, either in "writing or verbally".

He said that Bali, the scene of bomb attacks in the past, had to remain "on alert".

Threat 'unclear'

Correspondents say that embassies routinely make these kinds of warnings at times of the year when large numbers of Westerners are likely to be gathering.

Analysts in Jakarta, independent of the diplomatic corps, said they believed the sourcing of the threat appeared to be very unclear.

The British Foreign Office has said that it is in close contact with the Indonesian authorities, but is "not aware of a specific credible threat to UK interests".

It added that "British citizens should continue to be guided by our existing travel advice and monitor the UK in Indonesia website for any further developments".



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