On this day in 2004, a bomb was detonated outside of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, which killed nine people and injured many others.
The terror attack took place at around 10.15am local time when a Daihatsu van parked up outside the gates of the building and a one-tonne bomb was detonated, with such force that it flattened a 10-metre section of the fence and left a crater three-metres deep.
The target was clear said then-Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, the attack was “aimed at the Australian embassy”, Australian citizens, and those trying to obtain visas to visit the country.
Believed to have been executed in order to punish Australia for its involvement in the Iraq war, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the attack actually did more damage to the surrounding buildings, than the embassy itself. While all nine fatalities were Indonesian nationals – including four policemen, a security guard, the embassy gardener, a visa applicant and a pedestrian.
The attack was carried out by a jihadist from south east Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, and had been planned by Noordin Top and master bomb-maker Azahari bin Husin, both of whom have since been killed in police raids.
The extremist pair were also behind the first Bali bomb two years earlier, which resulted in the death of 202 people, including 88 Australians.
At the time, Prime Minister John Howard said in a statement: “I do want to, on behalf of all of the Australian people, express my tremendous admiration to those of our friends amongst the Indonesian people who worked so hard and so loyally and in such a dedicated way for the embassy here in Jakarta.
“(I want) to express for those who lost their lives our love and sympathy to their families and our continual willingness to help in any way we can to help you through this very sad time.”
The attack took place just over a year after another fatal bombing at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which resulted in the death of 12 people.
There have been a number of further terror attacks in the country since the embassy was hit, including another Bali bombing in 2005, which took place in central Kuta, and a second attack on the J.W. Marriott Hotel in 2009, along with an incident at the Ritz Carlton.