Eight Dead in Suicide Strike at Marriott Hotels in Jakarta

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The Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta

Suicide bombers checked into adjacent Marriott-branded hotels in Jakarta on Friday, then set off two blasts that killed eight people and wounded more than 50. Reports say that at least 18 foreigners were among the dead and wounded.

The explosions occurred at the J.W. Marriott, Jakarta and Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta, which are in an upscale business district. The event, again, calls into question the security of hotels, which, in recent times, have become targets for suicide bombers. Last November, coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, at the Trident Hotel, the Oberoi Mumbai and the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai left 170 dead.

The Jakarta blasts reportedly blew out windows and rained debris and glass all over the street. The facades of both hotels are said to be in ruin.

Marriott was hosting a regular meeting of top foreign executives at major companies in Indonesia.  

Security video footage captured the moment of the explosion in one of the hotels and showed a man in a cap walking across the lobby toward the restaurant with other hotel guests and then smoke filling the air.

There has been a massive crackdown in recent years by anti-terrorist officials in Indonesia. In October 2002, two Bali nightclubs were attacked killing 202 people.

Marriott released this statement early Friday morning EST:

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of the tragic bombings that took place earlier today in Jakarta, Indonesia. Immediately following the incident, police and hotel security responded and sealed off the area. Our guests at both properties were evacuated and moved to other nearby hotels. Injured guests and hotel employees were taken to the hospital for treatment. Both hotels sustained damage, but it does not appear to be structural. At the time of the incident, extensive security procedures were in place at the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott. We continue to work closely with the authorities and hope to reopen the hotels soon. As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority."

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