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Jakarta attack: Australian man felt building shake as terrorists attacked

An Australian man caught up in the Jakarta terror attack says he felt the building he was in shake as terrorists launched their deadly assault on the ground floor.

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Jakarta attacks: Australian man felt building shake

Perth man Barry Kissane was having a meeting in the high rise building above Starbucks, when he heard the Jakarta attacks start outside. Then, the building he was in shook.

Retired maths teacher Barry Kissane was in a meeting high up in the Skyline building, in central Jakarta, when the militants triggered the first of a series of explosions on Thursday morning.  

"We heard a bomb - it clearly sounded like a bomb - and people went and looked out the window and saw that the police box on the corner had clearly been blown up," Mr Kissane said.

One of the suspected terrorists during the fatal attack in Jakarta on Thursday.
One of the suspected terrorists during the fatal attack in Jakarta on Thursday.  Photo: AP

"There were three dead bodies on the road, or they appeared to be dead at least.

"Very shortly after that, we heard a couple of bombs in the building and the building actually shook."

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The 66-year-old, who is now an education consultant and flew into Indonesia on Wednesday, was feeling the blasts from the Starbucks cafe on the building's ground level, 10 floors below. 

Police say a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the cafe while two terrorists waited outside and opened fire as people fled.

Police officers examine a police post where an explosion went off.
Police officers examine a police post where an explosion went off.  Photo: AP

Two civilians were killed in the attack, including one Canadian, along with the five assailants. 

Another 19 people were injured. 

Police at the site of a series of explosions in central Jakarta.
Police at the site of a series of explosions in central Jakarta.  Photo: Getty Images

"We certainly heard them and people were quite frightened," Mr Kissane recalled.

"There was the occasional other bomb and what sounded like gunfire, so we made our way down the emergency exit … and eventually got to the basement."

Barry Kissane was in Jakarta's Skyline building when terrorists attacked the Starbucks on the ground floor.
Barry Kissane was in Jakarta's Skyline building when terrorists attacked the Starbucks on the ground floor.  Photo: Supplied

Mr Kissane spent the following hours huddled with about 200 people in the building's underground car park awaiting instructions from police.

He said security officials searched everyone "half a dozen times" and even took DNA samples before letting them leave, about five hours after the attack started.

Mr Kissane, previously an education lecturer at Murdoch University, said he sent a text message to a friend in Australia early on in the attack asking them to spread word to family, including his two children, that he was safe.

Despite the carnage unfolding so close, Mr Kissane said he did not feel in any danger during the ordeal, nor while staying in Indonesia ahead of his scheduled flight out of the country on Friday. 

"The most problematic thing is that we really had no idea what was happening," he said.

"So that was a little bit concerning because we didn't know whose directions we should follow.

"It's a terrible thing to happen."

The Indonesian government believes the terrorists were linked to the Islamic State jihadist group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq and has been linked to several overseas terror attacks, including in Paris in November.