Two injured after smoke grenade explodes in Jakarta

JAKARTA (AFP) – Two Indonesian soldiers were injured yesterday after a smoke grenade detonated near Jakarta’s national monument, but authorities ruled out an attack.

The blast occurred around 7am local time as military and police personnel were taking a morning jog around the leafy grounds in the centre of the capital.

“We’re now investigating why the smoke grenade was there,” Jakarta police chief Gatot Eddy told reporters, adding that the two injured had been rushed to hospital.

“One of them was wounded on the hand and the other was injured on the leg,” he said.

There is a military barracks on the grounds of the national monument. Gatot said there was no indication of an attack. Jakarta Military Chief Eko Margiyono also stressed that there was no indication that the explosion was anything but an accident.

“This wasn’t something extraordinary,” he added.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation, has long struggled with extremist militancy and has suffered regular attacks.

In October, Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered beefed-up security after two militants from a terror group stabbed his chief security minister.

He survived the attack, which led to the arrests of dozens of suspects.

Indonesian police cover a blood stain with soil at the blast site in Jakarta. PHOTO: AFP