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Bomb Threat Warning In Indonesia

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AP
The U.S. Embassy on Friday warned its citizens to stay away from a Jakarta shopping mall called the World Trade Center because of a "possible bomb threat" in the next three days.

"The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulate General are aware of a possible bomb threat against World Trade Center Mangga Dua in North Jakarta for the period 11-14 March," said a message posted Friday on the Embassy's Web site.

"Americans in Jakarta should avoid the area surrounding this facility," the message said.

It gave no more details about the threat.

Indonesian police were not immediately available for comment, neither was the mall's management.

The mall, which sells mostly cheap clothes and electronics, is usually packed with shoppers on weekends, though it is well outside the downtown district and is not especially popular with foreigners.

Jemaah Islamiyah, an al Qaeda terrorist group that operates in several Southeast Asian countries, has been blamed for a string of terrorist attacks in recent years. They include the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, a 2003 blast at Jakarta's J.W. Marriott hotel that killed 12 and the suicide car bombing of the Australian Embassy last September, which killed 10.

Officials have made arrests of scores of Jemaah Islamiyah suspects, but local police and foreign governments have repeatedly warned that more attacks are likely. Several countries warn their citizens not to travel to Indonesia at all.

While many Jemaah Islamiyah leaders have been captured, two of its most dangerous bombmakers are still at large, regional security officials say.

Before Christmas, Australia warned it had "credible information" that terrorists could be targeting the Hilton Hotel chain in Indonesia. No attack occurred.

By Chris Brummitt