Bali bomb victims remembered on 5th anniversary

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KUTA, Indonesia, Oct 12 (Reuters) Dozens of people placed flowers and pictures of their loved ones at a memorial on the site of a deadly bombing on Indonesia's Bali island today, the fifth anniversary of the attack.

Survivors and families hugged each other as they remembered the victims of the blasts that ripped through the Sari Club and Paddy's Pub in the heart of Kuta in 2002, killing 202 people. ''My heart is still broken remembering that event, I always feel sad when I remember my husband and when I need him,'' said Wayan Rasni, a Balinese woman whose husband, a security guard at the Sari Club, died in the blast.

''I hope the perpetrators can be executed immediately. Why have they not done it until now?'' said the mother of three.

Three Islamic militants -- Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Mukhlas, also known as Ali Gufron -- are on death row for their involvement in planning the bombings in the world's most populous Muslim country.

The three militants have said in a statement read out by their lawyers that their death will bring ''light to the faithful and burning hell fire for the infidels''.

The Bali attack was followed by a car bomb at the JW Mariott hotel in Jakarta in August 2003, which killed 12 people, and a blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta in September 2004 which killed nine.

In the 2002 bombings, 164 of the victims were foreign nationals and 38 were Indonesian citizens.

The Australian parliamentary secretary to the minister for foreign affairs, Greg Hunt, said his country would cooperate with Indonesia in fighting terrorism.

Eighty-eight Australians were killed in the attack, the highest number of fatalities from one country.

''To those who carried out this atrocity, our message is clear.

You will not win. You will not succeed. And that is because we will not shrink from our commitment to seek justice,'' Hunt said at a ceremony at the Australian consulate in Bali, a predominantly Hindu enclave in overwhelmingly Muslim Indonesia.

''We will not rest in our cooperation with the Indonesians on counter-terrorism, on policing, on community development. We will not shrink from seeking justice, and we will not rest in our cooperation.'' In the wake of the Bali bombings, Indonesia forged closer security ties with Australia and the United States, tightened security, and was forced to confront religious extremism and terrorism.

The security threat from Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the al Qaeda linked Southeast Asian militant network blamed for the bomb attacks in Bali and Jakarta, appears to have been contained.

''The threat from JI is much less than it was five years ago,'' said Sidney Jones, Southeast Asia director of the International Crisis Group think tank.

She said the main threat may come from Noordin Top, a fugitive militant said to be the mastermind of some of the attacks, not from mainstream JI.

''JI still exists as an organisation but most of its members aren't interested in bombing, in fact most of its members don't agree with the tactics of Noordin.'' The last big bomb attack in Indonesia was over two years ago, when three Islamic militants linked to Noordin blew themselves up in beachside restaurants in Bali, killing 20 people.

Police have arrested hundreds of people allegedly linked to JI, confiscating explosives and firearms in raids since the first bombings in Bali.

''These people are like sleeping tigers. Just when we say they are weak they may strike any time,'' said police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto.

REUTERS NY RAI1218

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