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UPDATE: Breaking News - Large Explosion in Jakarta

Here's the story so far, as received in text messages from my friend who lives in east Jakarta:
"Bomb exploded in building next to where I live: whole building taken down!"

"Hoping it doesn't spread. Collosus [name of building - B] in flames.  Powerful explosion! Hold on our power just went out."

"Could have been gas main?  Huge blast...Terrorism?  It's a school."

It's currently 4:22AM.  I've not received any further news and several calls and texts are unanswered.  Still nothing online or on TeeVee.

It could very well be the Middle East fun spreading here, but without further info, it's hard to tell.  A "bomb factory" blew up six days ago in Depok (far east Jakarta), injuring six people. (,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=abba778de950e9d9&biw=1150&bih=684)

I'll keep you posted as fast as I get any news.  We're prepared (as usual) to head to the mountain headquarters far south of town if need be.


Sunday, 10PM
It's really bizarre.  I can't find any stories on the blast, but I went and looked at the school from my buddy's balcony, and half the school was blown away.  The most either of us have been able to find was a brief mention on in which a neighbor (no officials or authorities) said he thought an electrical short on the ground floor ignited a gas pipeline leak.  Now how a neighbor who lives 100 meters away deduced all this is also a mystery.

My buddy described hearing the explosion and getting to the window fast enough to see a fireball rising up from the building.  He said that, having been in the vicinity of several bombs, this one didn't have the shock wave he would have expected from a bomb.

What has both of us confused is that the media has been virtually silent on the event despite at least three of the local stations being on the scene about three hours after the fact.

Another oddity is that the fire brigade was on the scene within minutes.  Keep in mind that if you call the fire or police, the first thing you must do is negotiate how much you will pay them to show up.  It could be up to an hour or more before fire trucks show up to a fire.  This was less than 15, according to my buddy's recollection.

At any rate, a number of anomalies surrounding this one.  I'll let you know if anything new comes along, but for now, that is literally all I can give you after spending most of the day very near the scene trying to figure out what happened.
The US embassy in Jakarta was being pelted with molotov cocktails and about 1,000 people were throwing rocks at the walls and police this afternoon.

Most of the violence was caused by members of two groups, who paid a band of peaceful protestors to provide cover so they could bring in the fire bombs and rocks (which are normally cleared away in the area).  To give an example of how serious this all is, by sundown, most had gone home to have dinner and watch themselves on TeeVee.  I doubt seriously you could find two people there who had even seen the video that supposedly started all this, especially since Google voluntarily blocked it in Indonesia.

The Indonesian president has called for the UN to make laws banning religious slander, instead of calling on people to calm down and quit being used by banksters and military nutjobs.

At any rate, there were flag burnings and other pointless exercises in various other cities that destroyed nothing of value to the US nor to the filmmakers.  In fact, all it did was destroy the private property of Indonesians and get a few Indonesians hurt.

It leads one to believe that the explosion early yesterday might have been something other than a gas pipeline.