Bomb Attacks Rock Three Indonesia Churches

May 13, 2018, 14:08
Bomb Attacks Rock Three Indonesia Churches

In 2016, ISIS said it carried out a suicide bombing and shooting near a Starbucks in Jakarta.

Television footage showed one church where the yard in front appeared engulfed in fire, with thick, black smoke billowing up.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country with more than 82% of its roughly 260,500,000 people following Islam.

Suicide bombers have assaulted three continents in Indonesia's second largest metropolis Surabaya, murdering at least eight persons, police say.

The deadly blasts all occurred within 10 minutes of each other, police said, with the first explosion at 7.30 am (0030 GMT). Inspector General Machfud Arifin told CNN Indonesia that a motorbike was used in the attack.

Indonesia has seen "current resurgence in homegrown militancy", the wire service reported.

Motorcycles burn following a blast at the Pentecost Church Central Surabaya in Surabaya on Sunday. Another two died in a third attack at the city's Pantekosta Church, Mangera said.

The bombings were the worst since a series of attacks on churches on Christmas Eve in 2000 killed 15 people and wounded almost 100. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Meanwhile, the police has ordered a temporary closure of all churches in Surabaya and a large food festival in the city has also been cancelled.

Police officers have been deployed to the crime scenes to investigate and safeguard the areas, including members of Brimob and the bomb squad. "We don't need to be afraid when facing terror threats".

The ministry expressed condolences for the victims' families and stressed its full solidarity with the people and government of Indonesia in the fight against "sinful terrorism".

What is the history of militancy in Indonesia?

In 2000 bombs disguised as Christmas gifts delivered to churches and clergymen killed 19 people on Christmas Eve and injured scores more across the country.

The attacks may have been carried out by suicide bombers, although none of the terrorist groups has claimed the responsibility of the attacks yet.

In February this year, a number of people were injured in a sword attack at a church in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

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