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Bali blast confirmed as suicide bombing

Masked police flank Imam Samudra, the alleged planner of the blasts
Masked police flank Imam Samudra, the alleged planner of the blasts

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SPECIAL REPORT
JIHAD IN ASIA
A CNN Special Report by Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa
SPECIAL REPORT
War against terror: Southeast Asia front 

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- There are fears terrorists in Southeast Asia are adopting new tactics after Indonesia's chief inspector confirmed that DNA from the site of the October Bali blasts matches that of a suspected suicide bomber.

Police have been investigating the claim an alleged terrorist, identified as Iqbal, detonated one of two bombs used in the Bali nightclub bombings that left more than 190 people dead.

DNA had been collected from the suspect's relatives to help verify the claim, made by the alleged planner of the blasts already in Indonesian custody.

"Iqbal has been confirmed as the suicide bomber," I Made Mangku Pastika, chief investigator in the blasts, told reporters on Monday.

Police said the alleged planner of the bombing, 35-year-old Abdul Aziz, alias Imam Samudra, told them Iqbal was the suicide bomber.

Samudra said that Iqbal detonated explosives he was carrying inside a backpack at Paddy's Bar in Bali's popular Kuta nightspot area.

That blast was the first of two near simultaneous explosions and killed about ten people in Paddy's. The second, deadlier and larger, destroyed the nearby Sari Club.

Many of those killed in the second blast were fleeing the first explosion at Paddy's.

Police had been working to verify Samudra's accusations.

It is possible Iqbal may have accidentally blown himself up but if it is proven to have been a suicide bombing, it would be the first time such an attack took place in Indonesia.

It could also represent a possible turning point in terrorism in Southeast Asia, indicating that local terrorists were adapting methods more prevalent abroad.

"That must be a concern for the government since it's a new method," Pastika said.

More than two dozen people have been arrested after the blasts, though police have not said if all have been detained in connection with the bombings.

Regional authorities have blamed the group of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah extremist group.

JI, based in Southeast Asia, and is on the U.S. terror watch list and has ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, intelligence officials and several Western governments say.



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