JAKARTA, Indonesia - At least two foreigners were killed and nearly two dozen injured on Thursday when suspected Islamic State militants struck in the centre of the capital of the world's most populous country, officials said.
Police said that five attackers were killed in different gun battles on the streets of Jakarta after the suspected Islamic State militants triggered blasts around Thamrin Street, a major shopping and business district close to foreign embassies and the United Nations offices.
The dead civilians were a Canadian and an Indonesian while as a Dutch man was among those wounded.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in an official statement posted online by the terror organization, which was translated by the monitoring group Flashpoint.
Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian said that a militant named Bahrun Naim plotted the attack to assert himself among various figures competing to lead the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.
Police spokesman Anton Charliyan said Naim, an Indonesian citizen, is believed to have sent money back home from Syria to finance the attack.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo described the attacks as an "act of terror".
"We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people," he said.
The Thursday attack seemed a part of the pattern of similar attacks by the Islamic State to establish its presence in the world. The group has struck in Istanbul, Paris and now Jakarta in what counter-terrorism officials described as a 'Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attack', or 'MTFA'.
It was the first major attack in Jakarta since the 2009 simultaneous attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, which left seven people dead.
Many in the nation were apparently defiant in the aftermath of the attacks and took to the social media using hashtage "KamiTidakTakut" -- which translates to "We are not afraid" -- to express their pride and conviction to stand up, rather than bow down, to terrorism.
"We are Indonesians and we never afraid to terrorist," one man wrote. "We always fight anything that wanna take us down."
The top diplomats of Saudi Arabia and the United States, who are meeting in London amid tensions between the kingdom and Iran, have condemned the Jakarta attack.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir says the attack should "strengthen our resolve to work effectively together to combat the scourge of terrorism."
Speaking to reporters at the same hotel in London, US Secretary of State John Kerry echoed him.
"These acts of terror are not going to intimidate nation-states from protecting their citizens and continuing to provide real opportunity, education, jobs, possibilities of a future," he said.
"There is nothing in any act of terror that offers anything but death and destruction."