Explosion Rocks Paris Indonesian Embassy

A small bomb exploded outside the Indonesian Embassy in Paris (search) on Friday, slightly wounding nine people, France's interior minister said.

The bomb was in a package outside the mission. The explosion left a small crater, shattered windows and damaged several cars, and police set up barriers to block access to the area.

French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin (search) said most of the wounded were hurt by flying glass. Rescue workers led several people from the scene, which was crowded with fire trucks and ambulances. Four embassy employees were among those hurt.

Authorities could not say why the embassy was targeted.

"To our knowledge, there were no specific threats," Villepin said.

A woman who lives near the embassy in Paris' exclusive 16th district (search) said she heard a loud noise and immediately thought it was a bomb.

"I had the impression that I was being hurled from my apartment," said Annie Mayret. Windows from her residence were shattered.

She said the blast set off the alarms in nearby stores. Witnesses said the explosion was so strong that it shook some apartment buildings.

Indonesia is preparing to inaugurate a new leader after President Megawati Sukarnoputri was defeated in an election last month.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won a landslide victory in the Sept. 20 polls. The U.S.-educated retired army general was to be inaugurated on Oct. 20.

The election was the first in which Indonesia's 210 million people voted for their president directly. The ballot was praised as a key step in the country's transition to democracy after the downfall of ex-dictator Suharto in 1998.