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April 7, 2004

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At midnight on 12 October 2002, terrorists bombed two bars on Kuta's main street, Legian JL. The blast killed more than 300 people from over 23 countries. This event more than any other created Indonesia's image as a hotbed of religious extremism, unrest, and violence. The terrorists who commited this act have been caught and sentenced to death. Tourism hasn't fully recovered, although we have felt safe on Indonesian streets; the biggest danger seems to be overly aggressive vendors who are desperate for business because of the small visitor turnout since the bombing.
An on-site memorial lists the names of the "Bali bomb" victims. Across the street lies the empty space where the two bars once stood. Even without a memorial, an empty space in bustling Kuta calls attention.