IS claims responsibility for Jakarta attacks

“Islamic State fighters carried out an armed attack this morning targeting foreign nationals and the security forces,” Aamaaq news agency said.

Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the centre of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people, police said, in an attack on a country that Islamic State had threatened to put in its “spotlight”.

Latest updates (in IST):

4.31 pm: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz has strongly condemned the attack in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives.

In a statement, Mr. Sharif says the people and government of Pakistan “share the pain of Indonesian brethren at this critical moment”.

4.17 pm: Islamic State carried out the attacks in Jakarta earlier on Thursday, a news agency allied to the group reported.

“Islamic State fighters carried out an armed attack this morning targeting foreign nationals and the security forces charged with protecting them in the Indonesian capital,” Aamaaq news agency said on its Telegram channel.

3.15 pm: Malaysia’s national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar says police have raised security alert to the highest level following the deadly attack in Jakarta.

Malaysian authorities have detained more than 150 suspects linked to the Islamic State group over the past two years, including some who were allegedly plotting attacks in strategic areas of Kuala Lumpur. Last September, the U.S. Embassy warned of a potential terrorist threat at a popular hawker street and surrounding areas in the city.

3 pm: Indonesia’s national police spokesman says the people who attacked a busy shopping area in downtown Jakarta were copying the recent Paris attacks and were probably connected to the Islamic State group.

Gen. Anton Charliyan said: “They imitated the terror actions in Paris … they are likely from the (Islamic State) group.”

Five of the attackers and two other people were killed Thursday near the Sarinah shopping mall.

2:50 pm: The Netherlands’ foreign minister says that a Dutch man has been seriously wounded in the Jakarta attack.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders says the attack shows that “terrorism can hit everybody. Whether you are shopping in the heart of Paris, in a New York office or on vacation in Jakarta.”

A ministry spokeswoman says that the Dutch citizen was undergoing surgery. She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with ministry policy.

The ministry did not release the man’s identity.

2:30 pm: Indonesian police say Jakarta attackers imitated ‘terror actions’ in Paris.

1: 55 pm: Indonesia security chief says ‘everything under control now’ – Reuters

1:30 pm: The attacks in Jakarta were not a complete surprise to Indonesian authorities, who were warned in December of a credible threat. Read more..

1: 00 pm: A police armoured personnel carrier is seen parked near the scene of an attack in central Jakarta. Photo: Reuters

12:46 pm: Jakarta police spokesman Col. Muhammad Iqbal says four attackers have been killed.

12: 30 pm: Scene of the explosion in Jakarta. Photo: AP

12: 10 pm: Starbucks has issued a statement after one of attacks occured close to its branches in Jakarta.

“One customer sustained injuries and was treated on the scene; our partners (employees) are all confirmed to be safe. This store and all other Starbucks stores in Jakarta will remain closed, out of an abundance of caution, until further notice.”

12: 05 pm: There were no indications that Islamic State militants were behind a gun and bomb attack in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Thursday, the head of the national intelligence agency has told Reuters.

11:58 am: Four suspected attackers dead, area now secure: Jakarta police spokesman

11:52 am: President Joko Widodo says in a statement on national TV that the situation is under control and is calling on people to remain calm. “The state, nation and people should not be afraid of, and lose to, such terror acts.”

11: 40 am: Workers are being evacuated from their office at Thamrin business district in Jakarta. Photo: Reuters

11:33 am: An Associated Press reporter has heard an explosion from a cafe near the Starbucks that was attacked earlier. The explosion occurred after about 25 anti-terror squad police stormed the cafe.

There is no word on what happened to them, but after the explosion several other police and medical personnel in white overalls were seen running to the cafe.

Two ambulances also drove to the area, and were standing by.

11: 25 am: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has cut short his trip to central Java to return to Jakarta. He urged Indonesians not to speculate over who was behind the attacks that have killed at least six people.

11:20 am: Following the events, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has issued a warning to its citizens, asking them to avoid areas around the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel and Sarinah Plaza in downtown Jakarta.

11:18 am: Another explosion has been reported near a central Jakarta building.

11:04 am: Indonesia President urges public not to speculate on over who is behind the Jakarta attacks: spokesman.

10:55 am: Indonesia police tells domestic TV news no hostages taken in Jakarta attack.

10:35 am: Three more blasts near Turkish, Pakistan embassies

Indonesian network TVOne says at least three more explosions have taken place in Jakarta. It says the explosions occurred in Cikni, Silpi and Kuningan neighborhoods, near the Turkish and Pakistani embassies. It did not say if there were any casualties in the blasts that occurred after three explosions took place in downtown Jakarta earlier.

10:29 am: Witnesses are reporting that three suicide bomb explosions have taken place at a Starbucks cafe in downtown Jakarta.

A bank security guard says he saw at least five attackers, including three suicide bombers who exploded themselves in a Starbucks cafe in downtown Jakarta.

10:16 am: A U.N. regional representative in Jakarta, Jeremy Douglas, is tweeting that a massive explosion in front of the U.N. office in the Indonesian capital has been followed by at least six other blasts and gunfire.

10:14 am: The country has been on high alert after authorities said they had foiled a plot by militants to attack government officials, foreigners and others. About 150,000 police officers and soldiers were deployed during New Year’s Eve to guard churches, airports and other public places.