May 24, 2018

6 killed in Indonesia church attacks

13 May 2018, 02:15 | Marta Robbins

A damaged motorbike is seen at the scene outside a church following a suicide bomb

A damaged motorbike is seen at the scene outside a church following a suicide bomb in Surabaya

Separately, an internal police report reviewed by Reuters said a suspected bomb exploded in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Pentacostal church, setting alight dozens of motorbikes.

East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera confirmed the deaths of 11 people with 41 injured after three churches were hit by apparently coordinated attacks around 7:30 am (0030 GMT).

Images from one scene showed a body lying outside the gate of Santa Maria catholic church and members of Indonesia's bomb squad poring over the rubble. "In total 13 people are being treated at the hospital", East Java police spokesman added.

Some of the suicide bombers were on motorcycles, while one of the attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber disguised as a churchgoer.

The State Intelligence Agency said an Islamic State-linked group, Jemaat Ansharud Daulah, or JAD, was likely to be behind the attacks.

Mangera told the AP that minutes later, a second explosion went off at the Christian Church of Diponegoro and a third explosion went off at the Pantekosta Church.

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The blasts came four days after inmates killed five police officers during a revolt at a police detention center near Jakarta.

October 2002: Bombs at crowded nightspots on the resort island of Bali kill 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, in Indonesia's worst-ever terror attack.

All three attacks occurred in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city of around 2.8 million people in a country that holds the world's largest Muslim majority, Reuters reported.

A gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta left four attackers and four civilians dead in January 2016, and was the first assault claimed by IS in Southeast Asia. "We have identified one victim", he said.

Extremists have mounted a series of attacks against Christians and other minorities in recent years.

As of 10.30 a.m., police reported that at least nine people had been killed, while at least 40 had been injured in the attacks.

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