Jakarta blasts: Explosions and gunfire in Indonesian capital

January 14, 2016, 5:12am


Images of the scene show what appeared to be a continuing exchange of fire. Photo: AFP on BBC News

BBC News

At least three people have been killed in a series of blasts in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, with reports of ongoing gunfire.

The blasts happened outside the Sarinah shopping centre, near the presidential palace and UN offices, say reports.

A BBC reporter at the scene said police have cordoned off the area. He said they were occasionally taking cover behind cars.

There is no indication yet of who might be behind the assault. Indonesia has been attacked by Islamist militant groups in the past and has been on high alert.

'Gunfire right now'

National police spokesman told AFP people had been warned to stay indoors in case of further explosions.

A UN official, Jeremy Douglas, told the BBC had been about 150m away from one of the blasts.

"Then we ran into the building. We heard a third explosion. We got up to our office on the tenth floor and we heard a fourth, a fifth and a sixth. There is gunfire going on in the street right now."

A Reuters photographer said one explosion had been at a Starbucks cafe, with its windows blown out. He said police appeared to be aiming guns at a man on the roof of the building.