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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Aceh rebels fingered over Jakarta blasts
Car wreckage
A series of blasts has brought to terror to Jakarta streets
By Richard Galpin in Jakarta

Indonesian police say they have evidence that rebels from the northern province of Aceh were behind several of the recent bomb attacks in Jakarta, including last month's stock exchange bombing which left 10 people dead.

The police say four of the suspects currently being questioned had links to the separatist Free Aceh Movement.

Until now suspicion had fallen on the supporters of former President Suharto.

The announcement was made at a news conference held by top police officials from Jakarta, Bandung and Aceh itself.

Prime suspects

Victim
Fifteen people were killed in the stock exchange attack
According to them the four prime suspects accused of planning and executing the bombings all have links with the Free Aceh Movement even though they include two soldiers - one from the special forces and the other from the elite Kostrad strategic reserve.

The police said the suspects were being funded by the rebels to obtain weapons and ammunition to send back to Aceh, as well as to carry out the attacks in Jakarta.

The national police spokesman told the BBC that the rebels had shifted their focus to the capital after failing to succeed in their objectives within Aceh itself.

But until now there had been much speculation that the bombings had been carried out by associates of former president Suharto.

Almost all the attacks have coincided with attempts by the authorities to prosecute the former ruler on corruption charges.

Even President Abdurrahman Wahid himself had called for the arrest of Mr Suharto's youngest son in connection with the bombings.

But the police spokesman insisted the separatist rebels had deliberately timed the attacks to make Mr Suharto a scapegoat.

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See also:

26 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesian soldiers held over bombings
24 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Dozens arrested over Jakarta bombings
13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Death toll rises after Jakarta explosion
01 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid lays blame for Jakarta bomb
13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's fragile archipelago
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