Bali denies warning of New Year's Eve attack
23 mins ago
Bali denies issuing warning of possible attack
Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:27am EST
(Recats with Bali governor's office denying statement)
JAKARTA, Dec 31 (Reuters) - The Indonesian resort island of Bali faces a risk of attack on New Year's Eve, a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy quoted the island's governor as saying, but the governor's office denied making any such comment.
The statement quoted Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika as saying in a message distributed by the Bali Tourism board: "There is an indication of an attack to Bali tonight, but please don't panic, but put your security system to full alert."
Attacks by Islamic militants on Bali killed more than 200 people in 2002 and 2005.
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta could not immediately be reached for further comment. But Putu Suardika, head of public relations at the office of the Bali governor, denied that the governor had made such a statement.
"No, he never said that, either in writing or verbally," Suardika told Reuters. "We never put out any warning either written or spoken. Of course we in Bali, because we have had two bombs in the past, have to remain on alert."
Bali police spokesman Gde Sugianyar said police were not aware of a threat and always tried to ensure security was as tight as possible.
"There is no initial indication so far. Everything is running well and secure in Bali.
"For us, we don't consider whether there is any threat or not but we have been preparing security for the New Year's Eve to be as tight as it can."
(Reporting by Ed Davies, Telly Nathalia and Sunanda Creagh; Editing by Nick Macfie)