Indonesia church attack kills 11, dozens wounded

14 May, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Indonesian policemen patrol outside a church following a suicide bomb in Surabaya

Suicide bombers have 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 have said.

"We join the people of Indonesia in mourning those who lost their lives in the terrorist bombings of several churches in Surabaya", he added.

Pope Francis prayed for victims of three church bombings in Surabaya, East Java, on Sunday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.

"All were suicide attacks but the types of bombs are different", he told reporters.

Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze following a blast at the Pentecost Church Central Surabaya (GPPS), in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Pic.

The attack was the deadliest in Indonesia since 2005.

Indonesian Muslim and Christian organizations (Nadhlatul Ulama and Communion of Churches/PGI) condemned the attacks and issued a statement saying there is "no single religion in the world that justifies violence in achieving our goals".

"This act is barbaric and beyond the limits of humanity, causing victims among members of society, the police and even innocent children", President Joko Widodo said during a visit to the scene of the attacks.

In January 2016, IS claimed a gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta that left four attackers and four civilians dead.

In the hours before the church attacks, national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto announced on that four suspected terrorists had been killed during a police raid overnight in Cianjur, West Java. He said the number of casualties could increase as the police were still investigating the blasts. The Islamic State (ISIS, according to its acronym in English) has claimed authorship of attack. In a 3rd assault, at Pantekosta Church, two extra died, police stated.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for that incident although police denied its involvement.

At least one of the attackers was killed when they detonated their bomb at Santa Maria.

The attacks came just days after Islamist prisoners killed five members of a counter-terrorism force at a jail near Jakarta.

Christians, many of whom from the ethnic Chinese minority, make up about 9 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people.

Meanwhile, a witness to the GKI bombing, Mulyo Hartono, said he saw a woman wearing purdah - a head covering signifying she was of the Muslim faith - walking with two children who were dressed the same way entering the church.

Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since bombings by Al Qaeda-affiliated radicals in Bali in 2002 killed 202 people.



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