Suicide bombers suspected to be from an Islamic State-inspired group killed at least 11 people and wounded 40 in attacks on Christians attending Sunday morning services at three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city of Surabaya, officials said.
Wawan Purwanto, communication director at Indonesia’s intelligence agency said Islamic State-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) was believed to be behind the bombings.
JAD is an umbrella organisation on a U.S. State Department “terrorist” list that is estimated to have drawn hundreds of Islamic State sympathisers in Indonesia.
The attacks come days after militant Islamist prisoners killed five members of an elite counter-terrorism force during a 36-hour standoff at a high-security jail on the outskirts of Jakarta.
At St Mary’s catholic church, the first place of worship to be attacked, the bombing happened after an earlier mass was over and when the church was getting ready to hold another service.
Inspector general Machfud Arifin told CNN Indonesia the suicide attack at St Mary’s was carried out using a motorbike.
Separately, an internal police report reviewed by Reuters said a suspected bomb exploded in a car in the parking lot of a Pentacostal church, setting alight dozens of motorbikes.
In the third location, the Indonesian Christian Church, two veiled women entered the church’s yard where they were stopped by a security guard before an explosion occurred at the same spot, according to the police report.
Television images showed toppled and burnt motorcycles and debris scattered around the entrance of one church and police cordoning off areas as crowds gathered.
President Joko Widodo was due to visit the wounded in Surabaya on Sunday, police said, while Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Masudi condemned the attacks.
“We will not back down in the fight against terrorism,” Marsudi said in a message sent on Twitter.
Source: Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Antara Foto Agency/Reuters