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Minggu, 28 Maret 2021

Catholic church in Indonesia targeted in suspected suicide bombing - ABC News

A suspected suicide attack on a Catholic church in Indonesia has injured 14 people, police say.

Initial reports from local police said there was one attacker who was the lone fatality.

However, national police now say two people are believed to have carried out the attack.

The incident happened in the city of Makassar on Sunday morning.

The congregation had been inside the church on the island of Sulawesi at the time of the explosion.

Father Wilhemus Tulak, a priest at the church, told Indonesian media the suspected bomber tried to enter the church grounds on a motorbike, but was stopped by a security guard.

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

Police did not say who might be responsible for the apparent attack and no-one immediately claimed responsibility.

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

Boy Rafli Amar, the head of the country's National Counter-terrorism Agency, described Sunday's attack as an act of terrorism.

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

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.

"Whatever the motive is, this act isn't justified by any religion because it harms not just one person but others, too," Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister, said in a statement.

Gomar Gultom, head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, described the attack as a "cruel incident" as Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday.

He urged people to remain calm and trust the authorities.

Reuters

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2021-03-28 06:19:21Z
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