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Six Killed as Massive Blasts, Gunfire Rock Jakarta, Indonesia

Image: INDONESIA-UNREST

Indonesian police take position and aim their weapons as they pursue suspects outside a cafe after a series of blasts hit the Indonesia capital, Jakarta, on Thursday. BAY ISMOYO / AFP — Getty Images

At least six people were killed amid several large explosions and gunshots Thursday near a popular shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, police said.

Explosions Rock Indonesian Capitol 1:44

A national police spokesman told reporters that six people were killed in the attacks mainly in front of the Sarinah mall, which is in a district of the capital that is home to luxury hotels and foreign embassies. Police said they suspected at least one suicide bomber was involved. It was not immediately clear if the death toll included any attackers.

Other Indonesian officials issued conflicting death tolls; NBC News was not immediately able to reconcile the discrepancies.

The U.S. Embassy issued an alert urging U.S. citizens to avoid the area, saying the "situation continues to unfold."

President Joko Widodo, who was on a trip to Java, returned to Jakarta.

"The state, nation and people should not be afraid of and lose to such terror acts," he said in a television address.

"The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road," Reuters quoted one of its photographers as saying. "There has been a lull in the shooting, but someone is on the roof of the building, and police are aiming their guns at him."

Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative in Jakarta for the United Nations on Office and Drugs and Crime, said he heard at least six explosions, one of them in front of the agency's office.

Douglas posted pictures to Twitter showing police tactical teams advancing as the scene quieted later in the day.

Police noted that Indonesia had recently been the subject of an ISIS threat. But the head of the State Intelligence Agency, Sutiyoso — who, like many Indonesians, uses one name — told Reuters that while "this is definitely terrorism," there were no immediate indications that ISIS was responsible.

Before the attacks, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, an adviser to Vice President Jusuf Kalla, warned at a regional forum in Singapore on Wednesday that Indonesia could be "very vulnerable" to strikes by Indonesian members of ISIS.

Starbucks said in a statement that one customer was injured inside its cafe in the Skyline building and treated on the scene. "This store and all other Starbucks stores in Jakarta will remain closed, out of an abundance of caution, until further notice," the company said.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for details.