The National Police chief, Gen. Badrodin Haiti, second right in this file photo, is calling on people to stay calm. (Antara Photo/Vitalis Yogi Trisna)

Police Issue Correction, Say Tanah Abang Blast Not Terrorism Related

APRIL 10, 2015

Jakarta. One day after claiming a blast at Tanah Abang market in Central Jakarta this week was an act of terrorism, the National Police have withdrawn their statement and instead claimed the explosion was gang related.

Police on Thursday claimed the explosive, which injured four people when it detonated on Wednesday, had a similar "signature" in the way it was assembled to those of radical groups in West and East Java.

On Friday, however, acting National Police chief Cmr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti corrected the police's previous statement.

"The explosion ... did not seem to have any indication of terrorism act. We still don’t know who did this, we’re still investigating the case," he said, without explaining why police publicly claimed the explosion was an act of terrorism in the first place.

Police said the location of the explosion, which is known for gang-related violence, suggested the bomb had been prepared for gang fights.

Investigators are still working to identify a suspect but are determined that none of the four people severely injured in the blast were involved in the attack. 

"The victims injured were just locals asked to help tidy up the location for an event," Badrodin said. "They moved a package and it exploded."

The explosion, which occurred in an abandoned block of the market, injured Rukam, 56; Asep Samsudin, 66; Amir, 51; and Feri Andiyanto, 28. 

Jakarta Police, the capital’s Gegana bomb squad and the country’s counterterrorism unit Densus 88 are investigating the case.