Date registered: Sep 2005
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Impending executions prompt Indonesia travel warning
November 2, 2008 - 10:37AM
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has warned Australians to reconsider travelling to Indonesia ahead of the execution of the Bali bombers.
Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra are expected to be put to death by firing squad early this month for their role in the bombings which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
There have been threats of reprisals in the wake of the executions, and additional police have been posted around Australia's embassy in Jakarta.
Mr Smith has told Channel Nine Australians should be careful if they are in the region when the executions take place.
"We are making sure that we advise Australians firstly to reconsider their need to travel to Indonesia," he said.
"Of course, what Australians do and where they travel is ultimately a matter for them to make a decision about.
"We also indicate to them that if they do travel to Bali and Indonesia to keep away from sites which have obviously been terrorist sites in the past."
Mr Smith says both Australian and Indonesian authorities are taking precautions as the execution date draws closer.
"We're taking all the usual precautions. You would have seen presumably that the Indonesian authorities are also taking additional precautions so far as security is concerned, both in the case of the sites in Bali and Indonesia, but also diplomatic sites as well," he said.
"So we're taking all the precautions that we can, but we do urge Australians to reconsider their need to travel."
Intense speculation in Indonesia suggests the three death row Bali bombers could be dead as soon as tomorrow morning.
But the country's Attorney-General continues to insist that "early November" could mean any date up until the middle of the month.
Local television has reported that the bombers have received official notice of their pending executions but that has not been confirmed by Indonesian authorities.
Police in central Java earlier detained a man transporting 50 kilograms of potassium products as a security crackdown continues ahead of the looming executions.
It is an example of how seriously Indonesia is taking the threat of reprisals in the wake of the executions which are expected within days.
The man, detained in Semarang, told police the potassium was being delivered to batik manufacturers and police have offered no further information to suggest anything untoward.
Security checkpoints have been set up around the home villages of the bombers where the remains of Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra are expected to taken by helicopter for burial.
A police helicopter is now at Cilacap's airport to support security efforts in the area.
There are reports from Tenggulun, the home village of Mukhlas and Amrozi, suggesting that an 'H' has been painted on the ground there to create a makeshift helipad.
Indonesian police have also been boosted around churches and key infrastructure near the bombers' island prison and in Jakarta additional police have been posted around Australia's embassy.
Local television has also reported that security checkpoints have been set up around Imam Samudra's village in West Java where a grave had been prepared.
beware of fundamentalists