Jakarta Police take cover during attack on Thursday
Jakarta Police take cover during attack on Thursday REUTERS/Beawiharta

At least three police officers and three civilians have been killed in a combined attack occurring over multiple locations in Jakarta, Indonesia. The attacks involved three suicide bombers, six bombs in different locations throughout the city, and gunfights have broken out between terrorists and police. After hours of violent confrontation, police have taken four gunmen captive and have brought the area of the city in which the attack occurred under control. 

Reports on the country’s local media outlets as well as Reuters have stated that at least three of the bombings were carried out by a suicide bomber. Witnesses describe casualties, chaotic scenes, and exchanges of gunfire with police.

The official Twitter account of the Jakarta police said that one of the explosions went off in front of a shopping center known as Sarinah mall. Another destroyed a Stabrucks. Police say attackers arrived on motorcycles and threw grenades. Thus far reports have estimated between 10 to 14 terrorists involved. At least four of the suspected attackers are now dead, and another four are in custody. Police have said that the main thrust of the attack was on an office block and it began with a blast outside a Starbucks cafe on its ground floor. 

The area has been sealed by police and civilians are being kept at a safe distance. Police have deployed hundreds of officers including sniper around the area of the attacks. High rise buildings in the area were evacuated, and a United Nations building located nearby has been on lockdown since the first explosion. There are several luxury hotels, offices, and embassies, including that of France, in the area where the blasts occurred.

Reports have also stated that an additional blast was heard in the western part of Palmerah. So far that blast has not been confirmed by authorities.

The attack came following a threat by ISIS that it would target Indonesia. "We have previously received a threat from Islamic State [ISIS] that Indonesia will be in the spotlight," police spokesman Anton Charliyan said. The group specifically claimed there would be a "concert in Indonesia" that would make international news, though Charliyan emphasizes it is still not clear that this was the work of ISIS.

Islamic State-linked media group Aamaaq reported that IS fighters were indeed behind the armed attacks in the Indonesian capital. However it's source was unspecified and no official ISIS statement has been made yet.  

Indonesia is has the largest Muslim population in the world. While the population is mostly moderate, the country has seen its fair share of attacks with large terror attacks occurring in 2009 as well as 2002.