At least 11 dead, 41 injured in Indonesia church attacks

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  • Sun, 05/13/2018 - 18:37
Indonesian residents light candles during a vigil for the victims of the church attacks in Surabaya
  • Indonesian residents light candles during a vigil for the victims of the church attacks in Surabaya
  • EFE

At least 11 people, including a suicide bomber, were killed, and 41 were injured on Sunday in bomb attacks on three churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, the police said.

East Java police spokesperson Frans Barung Mangera told EFE that two police officers were among the injured after a series of explosions took place in the morning during Sunday service.

The first explosion took place in Surabaya's St Mary's Catholic church, killing four people, including the suicide bomber.

Almost immediately afterwards, there were explosions in a protestant church on the Diponegoro street, where two people were killed, and another one at a pentecostal church on Arjuno street, where another two people died.

Another person died later in a hospital in Surabaya, the second biggest city of the country, situated on the Java island.

The police are yet to release details of the other two victims.

The bomb disposal squad of the national police had diffused another bomb outside the Diponegoro church.

Hundreds of police and anti-terrorism squad personnel have been deployed to the attack sites, while broken glass and burned vehicles paved the road outside of the churches, efe-epa photos showed.

An Indonesian officer inspects the scene of a bomb blast in front of a church in Surabaya
 An Indonesian officer inspects the scene of a bomb blast in front of a church in Surabaya / EFE

Wawan Hadi Purwanto, the communication director at the State Intelligence Agency, told MetroTV that one of the attackers could have been a women and they suspected that the Islamist rebel group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah - inspired by the Islamic State -. was behind the attack.

The incident comes after last week a group of prisoners killed five police officers in a riot at a high-security prison south of Jakarta.

Indonesia, where Muslims constitute 88 percent of the population of 260 million, is on high-alert in the weeks leading up to the holy month of Ramadan, which begins in two days, as Islamist terrorists have in the past carried out attacks during this period.

The country has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks, including one on the island of Bali, a major tourist hotspot, where 202 people were killed in an attack in 2002. (EFE)


Panama condemns attack against Christians in Indonesia

The government of Panama condemned today the terrorist attacks on Christian churches in the city of Surabaya in Indonesia that killed at least 13 people.

In a statement released, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama "condemns" the terrorist attacks in Surabaya, "and expresses its solidarity to the families of the victims and the wounded of this crime against humanity".

"Panama condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations that plunge the international community into mourning," the brief statement added.

At least 13 people were killed and more than 30 were wounded today in three bombings targeting churches in Surabaya, in the worst attack on Indonesia Christian religious centers since 2000.

The head of the Indonesian National Police Tito Karnavian, according to local media Viva, blamed the attacks on an Indonesian family that returned from Syria, including two sons aged 18 and 16 and two daughters aged 12 and 9 years.

The suicide attacks, claimed by the self-proclaimed jihadist Islamic State (also known as ISIS), took place successively at the Sunday mass in a Protestant, a Catholic and a Pentecostal church in the second largest city of the Asian country, with a Muslim majority. (EFE)

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