Home of Newspaper Owner Attacked with Molotov Cocktails

DENPASAR

The owner of a local newspaper says he is at a loss to explain an attempt to firebomb his house in Denpasar in the early hours of February 15, claiming that he has no enemies.

The incident at the home of 45-year-old Hendrawan, owner of the Indonesian-language daily Bali Tribun, on Jl Tukad Gangga in the upmarket Renon district of Denpasar took place at 1.45am while he and his family were asleep inside.

Wayan Hendra, a security guard, was on duty outside the house at the time, and reported seeing a man on a Suzuki motorbike approaching from the south.  The unidentified perpetrator stopped in front of the house and threw two crude petrol bombs towards the building before riding away to the west.

“The first Molotov cocktail didn’t explode and just fell to the floor,” Wayan Hendra told reporters. The second bomb fell close to a parked car in the driveway.

“I quickly put it out, because it was so close to the car,” Hendra said, adding that he had been unable to get a clear look at the arsonist, or to record the number plate of the motorbike.

“He went off to the west alone.  He wasn’t wearing a face mask,” Hendra said.

The security guard raised the alarm once he had extinguished the fire.

“The first I knew about it was when the security guard woke me and told me someone had just thrown a Molotov cocktail at my house,” said Hendrawan, adding that he was baffled by the incident as he was unaware of any conflicts or controversies in his business life.

“I have no enemies. I have no explanation, but this is certainly an attempt to terrorise me,” he said.

South Denpasar Police chief Leo Pasaribu confirmed that an investigation of the incident was under way, adding that fragments of the petrol bombs had been collected as evidence and that witnesses were being interviewed.

“The victim doesn’t feel that there is anyone who has a problem or holds a grudge against him, so we are still trying to find a motive,” Pasaribu said, adding that they had been unable to obtain a description of the perpetrator, and that the CCTV cameras fitted to Hendrawan’s house were not functioning at the time of the incident.

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