In spite of numerous warnings from foreign embassies of specific threats of terrorist acts over the holiday season, Bali – together with the rest of Indonesia celebrated Christmas and New Years without any confirmed reports of terrorist activities.
In Bali, some 7,000 police officers were deployed to maintain the peace over the New Year period while Officers on duty at the entry seaports of Padang Bai and Gilimanuk were equipped with 32 bomb detection units, numerous metal detectors and security gates. Also on stand-by throughout the holiday period were Detachment 88 - an elite anti-terror unit as well as sniper units on guard at various locales across the island.
Prior to the holiday period, Bali's Chief of Police Irjen Made Mangku Pastika cautioned the people of Bali not to lower their guard over the coming holidays, reminding everyone that security is a shared responsibility between the police, the public, businesses and hotel operators.
Relatively Subdued New Year's Celebrations
Heeding calls from local officials and Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, many New Year's celebrations were toned down as a mark of respect for the many thousands who died in the region following the December 26, 2004, earthquake off Sumatra's northwest coast. Many hotels used the occasion of New Year's festivities to offer moments of silence for those who have died and for organizing special fund raising activities during the evening to aid relief efforts.
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