The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility for coordinated bomb and gun assaults on Jakarta — the first such attacks on Muslim-majority Indonesia by the group.
At least seven people, including five attackers, were killed in the explosions and gunbattle between police and the attackers in the city's central business district.
"A group of soldiers of the caliphate in Indonesia targeted a gathering from the crusader alliance that fights the Islamic State in Jakarta through planting several explosive devices that went off as four of the soldiers attacked with light weapons and explosive belts," ISIL said in a statement.
ISIL's statement said there were 15 people killed; the government said there were seven fatalities.
Tito Karnavian, Jakarta's police chief, said ISIL was “definitely” behind the attack. A news agency linked to ISIL also reported that the group was responsible.
He told Reuters news agency that Indonesian ISIL fighter Bahrun Naim, who is believed to be in Syria, was “planning this for a while. He is behind this attack.” Earlier, police told to Al Jazeera that ISIL made specific threats ahead of Thursday's attacks.
Six blasts occurred about 50 yards apart in the central business district, which also houses a United Nations office.
At least 20 people have been injured in the security operations at the Sarinah shopping complex on Thamrin Street. Police said the attack has ended and that security forces were in control of the area.
There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties as the police battled the fighters. Earlier, tweets from the account of Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative of the U.N. office on drugs and crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, described an explosion and “serious” exchanges of gunfire on the street outside his office.
A police post was destroyed in a grenade blast, which was followed by sporadic gunfire in the capital's downtown area.
Some gunmen on motorbikes reportedly escaped, police sources told Al Jazeera.
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that they found nails on the streets near the explosion sites, presumably from the explosive devices used in the attacks.
The attacks caused panic and prompted a security lockdown and enhanced checks in several areas in the city, which is home to 10 million people.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who was on a working visit in the West Java town of Cirebon, condemned the attacks. “This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people,” he said in statement on television.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has been the victim of several bombings. Thursday's attacks were the first major incidents in Jakarta since the 2009 bombings of two hotels that killed seven people and injured more than 50.
The attacks come two days after jailed Islamic leader Abu Bakar Bashir appealed to a court to have his conviction for funding a “terrorist training camp” overturned.
Bashir, the 77-year-old leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah network, filed a judicial review of his 2011 conviction, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for setting up the camp in Aceh province. A higher court later cut the sentence to nine years.
Al Jazeera and wire services