scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Suspected suicide bombing at Indonesian church wounds 14 people

Local police had previously said the bomber had acted alone. Authorities were looking into which radical networks the bombers came from and whether the attack was linked to recent arrests of suspected militants, national police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

By: Reuters |
Updated: March 28, 2021 12:38:41 pm
A police officer stands guard near a church where an explosion went off in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, March 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Yusuf Wahil)

Two suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a Catholic church in the Indonesian city of Makassar on Sunday, wounding fourteen people on the first day of the Easter Holy Week, the country’s national police said.

The congregation had been inside the church on the island of Sulawesi at the time of the explosion, police said, just as the mass was ending.

Local police had previously said the bomber had acted alone. Authorities were looking into which radical networks the bombers came from and whether the attack was linked to recent arrests of suspected militants, national police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

In January, a counter-terrorism unit raided a militant hideout in Makassar and killed two men suspected by police of involvement in twin bombings at a Philippine church in 2019 that killed more than 20 people.

Father Wilhemus Tulak, a priest at the church, told Indonesian media that the suspected bomber tried to enter the church grounds on a motorbike, but had been stopped by a security guard. Ten people had been wounded in total, some of them seriously, he said.

Police officers guard near a church where an explosion went off in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, March 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Yusuf Wahil)

Security camera footage showed a blast that blew flame, smoke and debris into the middle of the road.

Police did not say who might be responsible for the apparent attack and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police blamed the Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group for suicide attacks in 2018 on churches and a police post in the city of Surabaya that killed over 30 people.

Makassar, Sulawesi’s biggest city, reflects the religious makeup of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country with a substantial Christian minority and followers of other religions.

Makassar, Sulawesi’s biggest city, reflects the religious makeup of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country with a substantial Christian minority and followers of other religions. (AP)

Gomar Gultom, head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, described the attack as a “cruel incident” as Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, and urged people to remain calm and trust the authorities.

Indonesia’s deadliest Islamist militant attack took place on the tourist island of Bali in 2002, when bombers killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

In subsequent years, security forces in Indonesia scored some major successes in tackling militancy, but more recently there has been a resurgence of militant violence.

Makassar Mayor Danny Pomanto said Sunday’s blast could have caused far more casualties if it had taken place at the church’s main gate instead of a side entrance.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
x