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Indonesia identifies Bali suspect as hunt begins
( 2002-11-01 10:58 ) (7 )

Indonesia has identified one of three suspects in the Bali bombings and begun a manhunt in the sprawling Indonesian archipelago, chief investigator Made Mangku Pastika told Australian media.

"We are sending now four teams of the police, the specialised police, to run after him. So far there is no news yet, they are still trying to find him," Pastika told Australian Broadcasting Corp television late on Thursday.

Pastika said a reliable informant had come forward after the release on Wednesday of sketches of three suspects in the October 12 bombings in Kuta that killed 184 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Indonesian police described the men as aged 20, 27 and 30 and said they could be part of a 10-person group responsible for the nightclub bombings.

Pastika said investigators had received credible information from the informant, including the suspect's name, address and other information.

"So far we don't have any indication that he had links to any terrorist group, but we have already the specification of this man," he said.

Pastika said the information on the suspect matched descriptions by witnesses in Bali and other evidence. "The reliability is very good, so we think that we can believe him."

While naming no individuals or groups as suspects in the Bali blasts, some Indonesian authorities have said the bombings bore the hallmark of previous violence in the region linked to Jemaah Islamiah, a militant network that regional and Western intelligence agencies say has ties to al Qaeda.

Police are holding another alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiah, militant Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, at a Jakarta hospital.

They are waiting for Bashir to fully recover from heart and respiratory problems before questioning him over a series of Christian church bombings and an alleged plot to kill Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Police have not tied Bashir to the Bali blasts, and he denies any wrongdoing as well as any connection with Jemaah Islamiah.



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