Indonesian Market Blasts Kill Dozens

TENTENA, Indonesia -- Police forensic experts Sunday picked through the debris after two bombs ripped through a market in this Christian-dominated town, killing at least 20 people and leaving dismembered bodies lying amid piles of onions and tropical fruit. Church leaders called for calm in the aftermath of the blasts, which were the deadliest terror attack in the world's most populous Muslim nation since the 2002 nightclub bombings on Bali.

Officials declined to speculate on the identity of the bombers, but suspicion will likely fall on Islamic militants who have been responsible for a series of attacks on Christian targets in Sulawesi Island since a peace deal in 2002 ended a bloody interfaith conflict that killed almost 1,000 people.

At Tentana's hospital, nuns led special prayers and sang hymns in wards crowded with the wounded. Doctors who had been working through the night complained of a shortage of medicines and surgeons. The two bombs were attached to timers hidden in stalls in opposite corners of the market, police said.

"The bodies were lying everywhere. Some lost their legs or their arms," said Eman Longkar, who witnessed the blasts on Saturday and retrieved the corpse of a 2-1/2-year-old girl from beneath the wreckage. Witnesses said many of the victims had come to help those wounded in the first explosion, only to be killed by a larger explosion about 15 minutes later that left a 1-meter-deep crater and damaged part of the market. Soon after the twin attacks, an angry mob stoned Tentena's only mosque, breaking windows and doors, witnesses said.

By late Sunday, there had been no other acts of violence reported on the province, however. Church and hospital officials in Tentena said 20 people had died, but Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Saturday that 22 people had perished. It was unclear who was correct. Nineteen of the dead were Christians, the hospital said. One unidentified and unclaimed corpse lay in the hospital's morgue covered by a bloody sheet.

On Sunday, police experts from Jakarta took traces of explosives from the crater and took photos of the debris. Bloody sandals and clothing remained amid fruit, vegetables and dried fish. In the hospital, worried relatives sat close to their loved ones saying prayers.

"I hope the perpetrators will be arrested soon," said Gefri Galombe, a 32-year-old student with shrapnel wounds on his leg. "God will avenge the perpetrators of this attack, not us."

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is on a state visit to Vietnam, said he had ordered police to arrest the perpetrators, but he declined to speculate on the identity of the attackers.

"I don't want to be too hasty in saying who did this, but what is clear is that I have instructed all the relevant parties to arrest the perpetrators," he was quoted as saying Sunday by state news agency Antara. "Just wait and see."

Muslims account for 90 percent and Christians about 8 percent of people in Indonesia. But central Sulawesi and other outlying areas have roughly equal Muslim and Christian populations. Most of the country's Muslims practice a moderate version of the faith. But attacks against Christians have increased since downfall of the dictator Suharto in 1998, as he enforced secularism as part of national security policies.