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Terrorist blames Jakarta blasts on soccer

Terrorist blames Jakarta blasts on soccer
Members of England's Manchester United celebrate after defeating Liga de Quito 1-0 winning the FIFA Club World Cup 2008, at the International stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on December 21, 2008. (UPI Photo/Keizo Mori) | License Photo

JAKARTA, July 30 (UPI) -- Britain's Manchester United soccer team was the target of a bomb attack on two Jakarta hotels two weeks ago, a prominent Indonesian terrorist suspect claims.

An Internet message allegedly from Noordin Mohammed Top claimed responsibility for the bombing at the Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels that killed seven people because the Ritz was about to host Manchester United ahead of an exhibition match.

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"These players are Christians, so Muslims should not honor and respect these enemies of Allah," said the message, posted on the Web site blogspot.com, The Times of London reported.

Written in Indonesian and Arabic, the message claims the attacks on the Ritz and Marriott hotels were specifically aimed at U.S. interests and allies.

Manchester United, which was due to arrive in Jakarta the day after the attacks, canceled its match.

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