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    Jan 15, 2016

    Jakarta blasts felt like an earthquake, says eyewitness


    AN EYEWITNESS of yesterday's blasts in Jakarta told reporters he had seen a "terrorist" repeatedly shooting at bystanders, including a local journalist.

    Ruli Koestaman, 32, who had been in a meeting in a nearby building, said the attack started around 10.35am local time.

    "Then I heard a loud bang, boom.

    "It felt like an earthquake.

    "We all went downstairs," he said.

    "We then saw that the Starbucks downstairs was destroyed too.

    "I saw a foreigner - Westerner, a man - with a mangled hand, but alive.

    "A Starbucks waiter then ran out with blood coming out of his ear.

    "And I asked: 'Anyone hurt inside?' He said: 'Yes, one. Dead already.'

    "Then everybody gathered and a terrorist appeared. He had a gun and started shooting at us and then at Starbucks. Then the police post (in an intersection by the cafe)... exploded."

    Mr Koestaman said the attacker shot at a reporter who was at the scene.

    "Police then started to shoot at the guy who kept reloading his gun.

    "And then there was another explosion. Then shootings."

    The chaos was also witnessed by Jeremy Douglas from his office window at the United Nations (UN) building.

    "Serious exchange of fire in downtown #Jakarta. Didn't experience this in 31/2 years in #Pakistan," the regional representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime wrote in a series of tweets yesterday.

    "Amazing how some folks are walking and some running. Kind of a denial or something," he said in another tweet, referring to the pandemonium on the street below that took almost three hours to bring under control.

    He had just got out of his car to enter the UN building with a colleague "when a massive #bomb went off", he tweeted.

    "Chaos and we're going into lockdown," he added.