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ASIA: Indonesia tells Bali bombers' families to 'get ready'

07 Nov 2008 3:29 PM

TENGGULUN, Indonesia, Nov 7 AFP - The families of the Bali bombers on death row have been told to "get ready" for the executions.

Prosecutors and police today visited the family of brothers Amrozi, 47, andMukhlas, 48, in the east Java village of Tenggulun and warned them to prepare for bad news.

"We were just here to tell the family to get ready for when the executions take place," chief district prosecutor Irnensis said after speaking to the family for about 30 minutes.

He made no further comment and did not specify when the three bombers - Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra, 38 - would be executed by firing squad.

Indonesian officials have said only that the executions will take place in "early November".

The bombers were sentenced in 2003 for the attack that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Family member Ali Fauzi said the family was ready.

"The prosecutor told us to get ready and prepare ourselves in case the execution takes place," he said.

"And they told us not to wait for a letter informing us of the executions because the Bali court has no obligation to send one. We told the prosecutorwe're ready, there's no problem."

Samudra's family in the west Java town of Serang received a similar visit from prosecutors late yesterday, local media reported.

Indonesia usually executes convicts by firing squad in undisclosed locations in the middle of the night. The prisoners are told at least three days inadvance but there is no obligation to the families.

Helicopters have been prepared to take the convicts' bodies from the high-security prison on Nusakambangan island off southern Java to their villages.

Authorities are afraid that an overland journey would turn into a massive funeral procession for jihadist radicals bent on "holy war" with the West.

Security has been strengthened across the mainly Muslim archipelago amid fears of a backlash from the tiny minority of fanatics who support the bombers.

Police are investigating bomb threats received this week against the Australian and US embassies, and an internet letter purportedly penned by the bombers threatening the life of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The bombers have warned of retribution in a string of media appearances they have been allowed to conduct from prison but their lawyers deny they wrote the letter threatening the president.

The condemned men have also said they are eager to die as "martyrs".

AFP apm =0A