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Swiss tourists unharmed in Bali suicide blasts

Indonesian paramedics carry the body of a blast victim

(Keystone)

At least 22 people were killed and more than 100 injured in coordinated bomb attacks on the Indonesian island of Bali on Saturday.

According to the Swiss foreign ministry, all Swiss tourists known to be holidaying in Bali have been contacted and are safe.

Two Australians, two Americans and a Japanese man are known to be among the dead, as well as at least 12 Indonesians. The number of dead was revised down to 22 on Monday.

The Swiss foreign ministry condemned the violence. In a statement on Monday it said that once again innocent people had been hit by "furious and brutal attacks" and that this threatened the promotion of peace in the region.

Some 650 Swiss nationals were on the island at the time of the attacks. A foreign ministry spokesman, Lars Knuchel, could not say on Sunday whether the Swiss tourists would continue their holidays or return home.

"We collaborated with travel agencies, with some people at the scene and we went around the hospitals," said Knuchel.

Three near-simultaneous explosions struck busy restaurant areas on the island at around 8pm local time. Investigators believe suicide bombers carried out the attacks.

The bombers targeted two seafood cafes in the Jimbaran beach resort and a three-storey noodle and steakhouse in the centre of Kuta. Both areas were crowded with evening diners at the time of the attacks.

Bloody anniversary

The attacks came almost exactly three years after the October 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people from 22 countries, including three Swiss.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for Saturday night's attacks but officials in Indonesia blamed the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, whose members were convicted of the 2002 bombings.

The latest attacks happened a month after Indonesia's president warned of possible terrorist attacks. Western and Indonesian intelligence agencies have warned repeatedly that Jemaah Islamiya was plotting more attacks in the world's most populous Islamic country.

Before the 2002 bombings Bali enjoyed a reputation for peace and tranquility.

The island is heavily dependent on tourism and was just beginning to recover from the 2002 blasts. The latest attacks threaten to seriously damage the island's tourist industry yet again.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

On Saturday evening three bombs exploded in crowded tourist areas of Jimbaran and Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali.
The blasts left 22 dead and more than 100 injured.
According to the Swiss foreign ministry, all Swiss tourists have been accounted for and are unharmed.
The attacks came exactly three years after the nightclub bombings on the island which killed 202 people.

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