4.00pm

SYDNEY - A man detained by Indonesian police over the Bali bombings allegedly supplied one tonne of potassium chlorate and ammonium nitrate to make the bombs which killed 180 people, an Australian newspaper reported today.

The Sun-Herald newspaper said a 40-year-old man who owned a fertiliser and industrial chemical supply shop in Surabaya in northeast Java was charged by Indonesian police on Friday under the country's tough new anti-terrorism laws.

However, Australian Federal Police in Canberra told Reuters the man had only been detained for questioning by Indonesian police.

"There has been no arrest as we know it. Indonesian police have detained him and have the power to detain him for 30 days," said an Australian police spokesman.

"In Australian terms, he is a person assisting police with their inquiries," he said.

The arrest this week of an Indonesian man named Amrozi who confessed to taking part in the Bali bombings marked the first big breakthrough in the investigation. Amrozi owned a minivan that was used as a car-bomb in the October 12 bomb attacks, which killed mainly foreign holidaymakers in Bali's Kuta beach.

The Sydney newspaper said the latest man detained allegedly sold a tonne of potassium chlorate and ammonium nitrate to Amrozi. It said the chemicals were used as part of the explosive mix packed into Amrozi's Mitsubishi van which exploded outside the Sari nightclub, where most of those died.

The newspaper reported that Indonesian police had said the man gave Amrozi a false receipt indicating the material was harmless cooking material.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Bali bombings.

Indonesia's defence minister said on Friday that Amrozi was a member of Jemaah Islamiah, a radical Southeast Asian Islamic group that has been linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. The minister also said al Qaeda was behind the October 12 blasts.

Indonesian police said on Saturday that Amrozi had travelled to Afghanistan and they were trying to determine if he had trained there. Militant Muslims from Southeast Asia are believed to have trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan before a US-led campaign ousted the nation's hardline Taleban rulers last year.

- REUTERS



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