Indonesian police said a suspected militant died in a suicide bombing attack Tuesday outside police headquarters in the city of Solo.One policeman sustained minor injuries in the attack that unfolded about 7.30 a.m. local time.
Maj. Gen. Condro Kirono, chief of Central Java Police, said authorities believe the attack was carried out by a militant network that targets police and other security forces.”This was done by terrorism networks that continue to regenerate. Whether it is an old or new network will be revealed by the investigation,”he said.
TV footage showed a limited amount of damage on the street and a partially destroyed motorcycle.
Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2002 bombings by Jemaah Islamiyah on the tourist island of Bali that killed 202 people. Militant networks have been weakened and recent attacks have been small in scale but ideological inspiration from the Islamic State group has provided the impetus for some local radicals to regroup.
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The attack occurred a day before predominantly Muslim Indonesia, and Muslims worldwide, celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month.
Solo is known as a hotbed of Islamic radicalism in Java, one of Indonesia’s main islands. The city is home to the fundamentalist Al Mukmin Islamic boarding school founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the aging spiritual leader of the Bali bombers, which produced a generation of violent militants.
Kirono said a bomb squad combed the area around police headquarters for explosives and extra security precautions will be taken for Wednesday’s Eid al-Fitr prayers in the city.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo condemned the violence and called on Indonesians to be calm but vigilant during Eid.