Fearful that Bali could be the next target of an attack by radicals, police on the Indonesian island are taking extra security precautions, including requesting that nightclubs shorten their opening hours.
A series of suicide bombings targeting churches and the Surabaya Police headquarters in East Java over the weekend and on Monday has put Bali on edge.
Bali has amped up security at major points of entry like harbors in Jembrana, West Bali and Karangasem, East Bali, as well as the airport.
“We have to remain vigilant, not let something happen like that in Surabaya. While the Denpasar area is still very safe, we have also lowered a team of Densus 88 both in the Jembrana and Karangasem areas, in addition to the airport,” Denpasar Police Chief Hadi Purnomo said on Monday, as quoted by Merdeka.
According to the police chief, it’s places with large amounts of people, places of worship, and police that are being most closely monitored for the time being.
Kuta Police chief Nyoman Wirajaya added that the tourist hub of Kuta especially has been under strict surveillance since Bali raised “Alert One” on Friday.
“We have done our best, especially in anticipation at crowded places visited by many foreigners, we have placed more personnel,” Wirajaya said.
The chief added that he’s asking entertainment venues in Kuta to shutdown a couple hours earlier than usual to avoid “undesirable events.”
“Today I’m going to all the entertainment venues to have them shut down earlier. At 1am they should be closed, the reason is for security. Usually the entertainment places close at 3am. All of our personnel will be out because of the level one alert,” he said.
It was nightclubs on Jl. Legian that were the target of the 2002 Bali bombings.
The 2002 blast, blamed on the militant Jemaah Islamiyah network linked to Al-Qaeda, tore apart the busy nightclub strip, killing 202 people.