Security Tight Across Bali after Java Church Blast
Security services were on high alert across Bali this week following Sunday’s suicide bomb attack at a church in Solo in Central Java.
Bali Police spokesman Hariadi said officers were conducting a variety of measures to tighten security following the attack.
He said security at the island’s ferry ports had been tightened, and guards had been posted at notable places of worship.
“We have tightened security at all entry points. Security is at the maximum level. The measures will include more patrols, random raids and checks,” Hariadi said.
Meanwhile, Bali Police chief Totoy Herawan Indra said intelligence officers were working behind the scenes to establish if there was any specific threat against targets in Bali.
The attack at the Bethel Gospel Church in Solo on Sunday wounded 27 people.
“Our intelligence officials are continuing to work day and night to maintain security and order,” Indra said, adding that all members of society needed to work together to ensure security.
Churches in Bali were put on a high state of alert following the suicide bombing.
Hariadi said police officers had been ordered to pay special attention to security around places of worship.
“We have instructed all ranks that in addition to tightening security at entrance points they must also tighten security at churches throughout Bali. All our personnel have been mobilised, and we have instructed them to perform extra-tight security procedures,” he said.
South Denpasar police chief Martin Pasaribu said his officers were monitoring all churches in his area and places with a significant Christian population. Pasaribu said similar security measures were being carried out at mosques as they had previously been targets of terrorism.
“After the bombing in Solo, I immediately deployed officers to monitor closely all the churches and mosques in the region of South Denpasar. The police have coordinated with the churches and mosques to tighten supervision, especially during Christian services,” he said.
Elsewhere, security was put on its highest standing at Gilimanuk, the main point of access for travellers between Bali and Java.
Head of marine supervision in the Gilimanuk Police Made Prihenjagat said every vehicle entering Bali was being searched and all arriving travellers were being checked closely.
“These immediate, rigorous checks are to prevent any unwanted occurrence in Bali,” he said, adding that officers from the elite Mobile Brigade (Brimob) had been drafted to the port to aid in operations.
Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika said he expected everyone to remain vigilant.
“I ask all residents of Bal to improve the security of our environment, so that these groups who want to disturb the peace cannot get into our area,” he said.
Pastika headed the investigation into the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people, in his former role as a chief of Bali Police. That probe resulted in the arrest of key members of the operation who were subsequently executed.
Meanwhile, Bali Police have said special security measures will need to be put in place ahead of the annual Kuta Karnival, held from October 14-16.
Members of the festival committee met with senior police officers in Denpasar on Monday to discuss security issues.
Karnival chairman Morgan Made Suartha, general secretary Made Rudika and I Ketut Puraja, the security coordinator, met with police analyst I Nengah Sujarsa.
Sujarsa said Bali Police always took security at such international events very seriously.
“The police hope that the security at this event will be well prepared, in order to anticipate any threats that may occur,” he said after the meeting, adding that the large number of foreign tourists attending the Kuta Karnival made it a potential target.
He said he had sought assurances from the festival committee that close security checks would be conducted ahead of all performances during the three-day event.
“The police cannot secure the area by themselves; they need active involvement of the community to ensure real security,” he said.Filed under: Headlines