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Bali bombings a blessing in disguise - police chief.

The Bali nightclub bombings were a blessing in disguise because they let Indonesia prove it was serious about tackling terrorism, the country's police chief said yesterday.

'There are many blessings that we get from the Bali bombings. We got a lot of advantages from that,' Da'i Bachtiar told potential investors in Singapore.

The two blasts on the resort island killed almost 200 people on October 12.

'The Bali bombing struck Indonesia hard, but it was also a blessing in disguise. It has changed the world's negative view against Indonesia.' Bachtiar said Indonesia has not yet conclusively linked Jemaah Islamiyah, the group widely accused of carrying out the bombings, to al Qaida.

The comment contradicted statements from Indonesia's defence minister and other officials saying there was a link, and suggested that differences remain in Indonesia's government over its campaign against terrorism. It also contradicts terrorism experts who say that key suspects in the bombing are members of Jemaah Islamiyah .
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Jan 9, 2003
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