12 Oct 2012

Bali bombing victims remembered

9:45 pm on 12 October 2012

Commemorations have been held on the Indonesian island of Bali to mark the bombings 10 years ago that killed 202 people.

People from 21 nations, including 88 Australians and three New Zealanders, died in the twin blasts blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah militant group on 12 October 2002.

The bombs ripped through Paddy's Irish Bar and nearby Sari Club in the popular Kuta tourist district.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former prime minister John Howard and New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully were among the 1000 people who attended a memorial at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Jimbaran on Friday.

Security was tight after police earlier in the week warned of possible attacks against visiting dignitaries with about 2000 officers and military deployed to guard the event. Another memorial service was held later in the day at Kuta.

Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika, who led the investigation which tracked down the terrorists responsible for the bombings, told the gathering at Jimbaran there is no religion being condemned - only the people who commit brutal violence in the name of religion.

Julia Gillard and Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the militants had tried to sow seeds of hatred between Indonesia and Australia, Islam and Christianity, but had failed.

Murray McCully told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday that in the past decade Indonesia has come to grips with the problem of home-grown terrorism.

"There's a very strong level of commitment within the Indonesian government to rooting out terrorist action and to making sure that the Indonesians play a full and active part in the inter-agency cooperation that is going to make the job of terrorists much more difficult to pursue."

Three men were executed for their role in the bombings in 2008 and several others have either been jailed or killed by security forces.