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Tourists flee Bali after bombings

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A tourist leaves Bali amid the remains of the nightclub district

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CNN's John Vause says Australia's government vows a response after making sure victims of the Bali explosion are returned home.
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CNN's Maria Ressa says the fatal explosion at a Bali nightclub is the latest in a series of attacks in Southeast Asia.
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CNN's Atika Shubert says the majority of those killed and injured are Australian tourists.
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KUTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Crowds of tourists and embassy workers are anxiously boarding planes from the Indonesian island of Bali following weekend bombings that killed more than 180 people.

Most of those killed by two explosions in the nightclub district of Bali's Kuta Beach on Saturday were young tourists from Australia.

Citizens from at least 12 other countries -- including Bali, the UK, France, Germany Sweden and the U.S. -- are also among the dead.

Investigators suspect that Islamic extremists linked to Jemaah Islamiah -- a radical Islamic group with ties to al Qaeda -- might be behind the attacks. The group has denied involvement.

According to witnesses, an explosion occurred at one nightclub. As people streamed out, another, larger blast tore through the Sari Club, which caters mainly to international visitors and was jam packed with hundreds of revelers. (Gallery: After the nightmare)

More than 200 people were missing following the blasts. At least another 300 people were injured. (Survivors recall horror)

Officials at the Sanglah General Hospital in Bali reduced their estimated death toll from 187 to 181 Monday, saying an accurate count was difficult because of charred remains. Only about 40 bodies have been positively identified.

U.S. President George W. Bush said: "I think we have to assume it is al Qaeda, but we are beginning to hear reports that are more definitive than that. But I wait for our own analysis... Clearly, it was a deliberate attack on citizens who love freedom, citizens from countries who embrace freedom."

After a day of security meetings, Indonesian chief security minister Lt. Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his country also had information about possible terrorist plots against vital oil and gas installations in the country.

He told CNN that security had been stepped up at the oil and gas facilities, Western embassies in Jakarta and other possible targets.

The United States has issued updated travel warnings and Britain has also urged its citizens to leave the country.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said 30 Britons may have been killed in the attacks.

"We have yet again evidence of the appalling depths to which these extremists will sink," Blair told reporters outside 10 Downing Street. (Full story)

Debe Campbell, from the Bali Tourism Authority, told CNN that eight Indonesians had been killed.

The U.S. State Department ordered all non-essential U.S. employees and their families to leave Indonesia, and urged other Americans to do the same due to "increased security concerns."

A wounded American woman said officials at the hospital where she was being treated told her at least three Americans had been identified among the dead.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian markets tumbled and concerns grew that the tourism industry -- which had been on the rebound since the September 11 attacks on the U.S. -- would once again take a severe hit.

"We are sure al Qaeda is here. The Bali bomb blasts are related to al Qaeda, with the cooperation of local terrorists," the Indonesian defense minister told CNN Monday.

Jemaah Islamiah is blamed for the September 23 grenade explosion near a U.S. Embassy warehouse in Jakarta as well as several other bombing attacks in Southeast Asia.

However, Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Baasyir, accused by Washington of being the spiritual leader of JI, denied any involvement in the Bali explosions. He blamed "foreign parties," including the United States. (Full story)

Relief teams combed debris looking for bodies and the missing. The blasts leveled an entire block. Authorities told CNN they believe explosives were packed inside a jeep-like vehicle parked outside the Sari nightclub.

U.S. FBI agents and Australians are aiding Indonesians in their investigation.

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Women light candles in memory of friends killed in the blasts

In an address to Parliament Monday, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said 14 Australians were confirmed dead, 113 hospitalized and another 220 unaccounted for.

More than 130 of the most seriously injured were flown to Royal Darwin Hospital by the Australian air force. One victim died en route.

Howard called the bombings a "barbaric mass murder."

"In many ways... the word terrorism is too antiseptic an expression to describe what happened," he said, pledging that Australia would continue to support the international war on terrorism, led by the United States.

"I wouldn't be claiming that it was an attack specifically targeting at Australians. I would say though that there is a pattern of anti-Western behavior in so many of the terrorist attacks that have occurred."

It was the seventh major bombing in the region in the last three weeks, and occurred on a two-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 others in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen.

-- CNN Correspondents Maria Ressa and Mike Chinoy contributed to this report.



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