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Australia attacked over cruise missiles

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September 30, 2004

Australia attacked over cruise missiles

A massive explosion outside of the Australian embassy in Jakarta is said to be in reaction to Australia's consideration of purchasing air-launched cruise missiles for its fighter jets. The missiles, which were denounced by the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Department, could reach over 400km, making Australia the most dominant air power in the Asia-Pacific region. The Indonesian government has stated, "We question the wisdom of this latest decision, which may not be construed by some countries as defensive," and noted that, "there is a risk that raising the level of sophistication [of weaponry] could lead to some kind of counter response."

Observers worry that the bombing, coming amidst a parliamentary election campaign in Australia, could unduly influence the country's foreign policy for the next five years if it is seized upon by opposition parties. The Australian government insists that the missile purchase is not intended for use against countries in the region but is part of a broader plan to build a military that can assist in international operations.

» Sydney Morning Herald: Australia risking arms race: Indonesia

» The Age: Eleven killed in embassy bombing

» XinhuaNet: Embassy bombing in Jakarta condemned

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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