Echoes of terror still sound in Bali

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 11:06:25 PM. FIFTEEN years after terrorist bombs took 200 innocent lives in Bali, Australians who were there that night and lost loved ones, have returned to the holiday island.

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Supplied Editorial Fwd: Bali bomb 15th commemoration02

FIFTEEN years after terrorist bombs took 200 innocent lives in Bali, Australians who were there that night and lost loved ones, have returned to the holiday island.

Dozens of Australians gathered at Kuta’s ground zero last night for a ceremony to mark 15 years since the atrocity. The memorial board displays the names of the 200 who died at the Sari Club and Paddy’s Bar when two suicide bombers detonated themselves and a massive bomb inside a mini-van.

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2002 Bali bomb survivor Andrew Csabi, a relative and survivor Anthony McKay visit Bali for the 15th commemoration at The Ground Zero Legian, Kuta. Source: Supplied

TIME TO START AGAIN

Among the Australians at Ground Zero last night was Australian soldier, Anthony McKay, who this weekend will marry in Bali. He says after remembering the bombing and those killed and injured they hope to have a celebration and be happy.

Mr McKay was in the Sari Club with mates when the first bomb went off across the road, at the Paddy’s Bar, detonated by a suicide bomber carrying a backpack.

They started to run outside, just as the Sari Club car bomb went off across the street. Mr McKay, who was knocked out, came to under a pile of rubble and started helping the injured.

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An Australian woman puts an Australian flag near the former Sari Club During the 15th commemoration at The Ground Zero Legian, Kuta. Source: Supplied

One of those he helped was Andrew Csabi, who lost his left leg and right foot in the Sari Club blast, and was also at Ground Zero last night.

Mr McKay says while so much bad was perpetrated that night 15 years ago by the terrorists there was also so much good as people rushed to the area to help the injured.

“We saw the worst of human nature with the bomb but you still see the best of human nature. My message is we have got to stamp this out,” Mr McKay said of terrorism. “We have got to stamp out extremism, you can’t target innocent people and expect to get away with it.”

The Australian Federal Police’s Asia Manager, Commander Glen McEwen, was in Bali on the night of the bombing, just metres away.

Attending last night’s ceremony, Cdr McEwen still has vivid memories of the horrific scene that night, when he arrived just minutes after the blast.

He and a colleague were up the road when they heard the explosion. “We saw there was a lot of carnage, fire, there was concrete stripped off buildings, many injured lying before us,” he said.

“I reported into Canberra, to the Australian Federal Police, and my descriptor was that something big … and there was going to be a lot of casualties but I couldn’t fathom that it was a bomb. I initially was hoping it was something of less evil but unfortunately it wasn’t. It was absolute pandemonium.”

Cdr McEwen said the sight of so many people helping others was fantastic but ironic that humanity had caused such chaos.

He said he was honoured to be at yesterday’s 15-year anniversary ceremony at ground zero, in a place where he felt moved and saddened.

A book, telling the inspirational stories of Bali bombing survivors, was also launched last night.

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Australian tourists visit the Ground Zero Monument in Kuta to commemorate the 15 anniversary of the Bali Bombing. Picture: Lukman S.Bintoro Source: Supplied

ECHOES OF TERROR

It was a recurring theme among the Australians at Ground Zero last night — that 15 years later, terrorist attacks are now happening with sickening regularity around the world.

Andrew Csabi, from the Gold Coast, says there is not one day that he doesn’t get out of bed and remember what happened in Kuta that night.

“It is an emotional journey. My memories are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives here,” Mr Csabi said.

And he is saddened about ongoing terror around the world.

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2002 Bali bomb survivor Glen Cosman shows his pendant made from part of the bomb found in his leg after the attack in the Sari Club, Legian Kuta. Glenn attended the 15th commemoration at the Ground Zero monument. Picture: Lukman S.Bintoro Source: Supplied

Glen Cosman, who was with Mr Csabi and other mates that night, is also in Bali this week. He was injured in the bombing and says that every time he hears of a new terror attack he is saddened.

“It should not stop people from travelling and enjoying their lives. You must always enjoy your life and family and friends,” Mr Cosman said.

Jason Garlick, from Sydney, said reading the victim’s names on the memorial board and coming across those he knew, from Sydney’s south, was emotional. Eight of his Mum’s friends were killed and 10 were injured that night. He bought some flowers for the memorial.

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Australian Jackson Garlick in Bali to represent his family and commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Bali bombing. Jackson lost eight relatives in the attack at the Sari Club, Legian Kuta in 2002. Picture: Lukman S.Bintoro Source: Supplied

ONGOING STRUGGLE

The three Jeemah Islamiyah terrorists who planned and co-ordinated the bombings — Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra — were sentenced to death and executed in late 2008. The JI chief bombmaker, Dr Azahari Husin, who supervised building of the massive one tonne car bomb and the smaller backpack bomb, was killed in a police raid in 2005.

That same year Bali was bombed again — this time seafood restaurants on the beach at Jimbaran and a restaurant in central Kuta, killing three suicide bombers and 20 innocent people.

Since then a series of smaller terrorist bombings have hit Jakarta and Java as Jeemah Islamiyah’s power devolved and Islamic State inspired terrorists sought to strike at the police and Government institutions.

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    Article Echoes of terror still sound in Bali compiled by www.news.com.au