Bombed hotels reopen in Jakarta
JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton resume business amid repairs to damaged sections.
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2009 09:09 GMT
Security at the hotels has been stepped up following the two suicide attacks [EPA]

Two luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital have reopened nearly two weeks after being struck by suicide bombers which left nine people dead and dozens more injured.

The JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta resumed operations on Wednesday, a hotel spokeswoman said, adding that she hoped business would return to levels seen following the attacks.

The lounge in the Marriott and a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton – the two main areas damaged by the twin blasts on July 17 – are still closed for repairs.

The first terrorist attacks in Indonesia in nearly four years have also prompted heightened security at the hotels.

"We have reviewed everything from the incident and made some adjustments but I can't disclose what the changes are as they are confidential," said Ina Ilmiaviatta, a spokeswoman for the Marriott hotel.

"We hope to be able to reach an average hotel occupancy of 60 to 70 per cent like before, in spite of the bombings," she added.

Marriott International manages both hotels.


Police say the fugitive leader of a JI faction is likely behind the two hotel bombings [AFP]
Indonesian police have not identified the perpetrators behind the attacks but suspect they could be the work of a splinter faction of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group, headed by Malaysian-born fugitive Noordin Mohammed Top.

JI is a Southeast Asian group alleged to have links to the al-Qaeda network.

Earlier this week Indonesian police said that a woman detained in connection with the bombings had identified her husband as Noordin.

He is believed to have taken refuge in a Central Javanese village, marrying the woman and having two children with her.

A police raid on the village just days before the Jakarta attack found bomb-making materials buried in the yard of his home in Cilacap district.

Noordin, 44, allegedly masterminded a suicide truck bombing at the Marriott in 2003, as well as the 2004 suicide bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta and 2005 attacks on tourist restaurants in Bali.

Those attacks killed 42 people, mainly Indonesians, injured hundreds and triggered the biggest manhunt in the country's history.

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