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He (John Howard) denied receiving advice that the plane had been sabotaged.
Australian officials said the flight was carrying a large group of Australian diplomats, government officials and journalists who had been accompanying Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who was not aboard, on an official visit to Indonesia.
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard said at least 10 citizens were on board and some remained unaccounted for, including one defense force liaison staffer and an Australian Federal Police officer.
Also missing was an embassy staffer traveling from Jakarta for Downer's visit.
However, Garuda's media office said the plane carried just eight Australians, as well as two Japanese, two Brunei nationals and seven other foreigners.