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Bali explosions: '12 dead'


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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- At least twelve people have been killed and some 100 hurt, including American and Australian tourists, in a series of explosions on Indonesia's popular resort island of Bali, local media and hospital officials said.

The explosions came at Kuta Beach and Ubud on Saturday night. Bali is a popular holiday destination and particularly popular with Australians.

Early reports say the explosion at Kuta Beach, which caused the greatest damage, was caused by a car bomb.

The Kuta Beach blast came at the Sari Club, a disco in the Kuta area of Bali. The other explosion occurred in downtown Denpasar, the capital of Bali, Lt. Col. Yatim Suyatno, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press.

One police officer who declined to be identified told Reuters that the explosions had occurred simultaneously, one of them not far from the U.S. consulate on Bali. Police said there were two blasts.

An official at a local hospital told Reuters that at least 100 people had been hurt, including Americans and Australians.

Eyewitnesses spoke of chaos in the area near one of the explosions at the Sari nightclub as foreign tourists were revelling on a typical Saturday night.

One eyewitness said windows on shops had been blown out up to 500 metres away.

Another eyewitness reported hearing at least three explosions on the island in Indonesia, the world's most populous Moslem nation.

"I saw one man, who looked Indonesian, whose head had been blown off," a local photographer, Murdani Usman, told Reuters.

There had been warnings recently from the U.S. embassy in Jakarta of possible violence linked to extreme Muslim groups.

Some critics say Indonesia is the weakest link in the U.S.-led war on terror in Southeast Asia, partly because the government has concerns about cracking down on radical Muslim groups for fear of upsetting the vast moderate mainstream.

It was not clear whether the explosions in Bali were related to an earlier blast Saturday at a Philippine consulate on North Sulwesi Island that caused minor damage but no injuries.

An earlier blast Saturday on Indonesia's Sulawesi island broke three windows of the Philippine consulate in the city of Manado, said Suleman Munde, a security guard at the building, which was closed at the time of the explosion.

Police Lt. Col. Henjke Kuwara said the small explosive device had been planted at the fence of building.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Manado is a port city and a transit point to the southern Philippines, close to where the Islamic militant Abu Sayyaf group is active.

- CNN Producer Atika Shubert contributed to this report



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