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Yudhoyono orders bomb probe


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Police inspect the site of Saturday's bombing of a market in Tentena that killed 22 people.
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered police to find those responsible for Saturday's twin bomb blasts that killed 22 people in a mainly Christian town on the island of Sulawesi.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility, and Yudhoyono said he would not speculate on the perpetrators.

Earlier, Vice President Yusuf Kalla said he was sure the bombings were not the work of locals, but of people from outside the region, Antara news agency reported.

The two bombs exploded about 15 minutes apart in a crowded market in the town of Tentena on Saturday morning.

Tentena is a largely Christian area, but Muslims also live there. The town is on the island of Sulawesi, about 60 kilometers (35 miles) inland from the coastal town of Poso.

Police and government officials raised the death toll on Sunday to 22, with at least another 50 people injured.

Yudhoyono, who arrived in Hanoi late on Saturday from the United States for an official visit, said he would cut short his trip if necessary, Antara reported. He is due to go to Japan after Vietnam.

"I firmly believe the bombings had nothing to do with the local Islamic and Christian communities," Kalla told media Saturday.

"They have met and reconciled, and are continuing to maintain good relations with each other. The blasts were perpetrated by terrorists from outside," Kalla said in a press briefing at his residence in Makassar.

The first explosion in Tentena happened at about 8 a.m (0000 GMT), a peak shopping hour on Saturday.

The second bomb was stronger, exploding 15 minutes after the first and just as people rushed to the scene to help victims in the traditional open air market, witnesses said.

CNN's Kathy Quiano in Jakarta said that as yet, there had been no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

She said forensic teams from Jakarta were on their way to the scene.

Sulawesi has been the scene of religious fighting between Muslims and Christians that has claimed thousands of lives since 2000.

A bomb blast in Poso last November killed three people and wounded seven on a minibus.

In January, police discovered 60 homemade bombs stashed in an abandoned house in Poso, which is about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northeast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Large scale clashes have died down since 2000, but over the last year the island has seen an increase in attacks and bomb blasts.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, but central Sulawesi has roughly equal Muslim and Christian populations.

Security in the capital has been stepped up, particularly around embassies of countries such as Australia, the UK , Japan and the United States.

On Thursday, the United States closed all its diplomatic missions in Indonesia because of a security threat.

There have been a number of attacks on Western targets in Indonesia, and these have been blamed on Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist group that is widely regarded as the Southeast Asian arm of al Qaeda.

The attacks include the Bali nightclub bombings in October 2002 that killed 202 people, the August 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta which killed 12 people and a suicide attack outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta last September that killed 10.

Along with Sulawesi, the Moluccas islands further to the east have also witnessed fighting between Muslims and Christians. More than 5,000 people died there between 1999 and 2002, before a peace agreement was reached.

CNN's Kathy Quiano in Jakarta contributed to this report


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