Sunday 16 December 2018

Explosion rocks Indonesian police headquarters

It happened a day after suicide bombings at three churches in the same city.

Officers stand guard following an attack at the local police headquarters in Surabaya, Indonesia (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Officers stand guard following an attack at the local police headquarters in Surabaya, Indonesia (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

By Associated Press

The police headquarters in Indonesia’s second largest city was attacked on Monday by suspected militants who detonated explosives from a motorcycle.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said the bombing was carried out by members of one family. He said one of the family members — a girl of about eight who was with two of the four attackers — was thrown by the blast and survived.

CCTV footage shows a car and two motorcycles approaching a security checkpoint at the police complex in Surabaya followed by an explosion from one of the motorbikes with at least two people aboard.

Four officers and six civilians were wounded in the attack, authorities said.

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Officers block the road outside a local police headquarters following an attack in Surabaya, Indonesia (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

It came a day after at least eight people were killed in suicide bombings at three churches in the city by members of one family.

Police say the family that carried out Sunday’s suicide bombings had returned to Indonesia from Syria and included girls aged nine and 12. All six members of the family died.

Separately on Sunday, three members of another family were killed when homemade bombs exploded at an apartment in Sidoarjo, a town bordering Surabaya, police said.

Indonesia’s president condemned Sunday’s attacks as “barbaric”.

IS claimed responsibility for the church attacks in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. It did not mention anything about families or children taking part and said there were only three attackers.

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Officers set up a police line outside the local police headquarters following an attack in Surabaya (Achmad Ibrahim/AP)

Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack occurred in 2002, when bombs exploded on the tourist island of Bali, killing 202 people in one night, mostly foreigners. But the fact that children were involved in Sunday’s attacks in Surabaya shocked and angered the country.

Jemaah Islamiyah, the network responsible for the Bali attacks, was obliterated by a sustained crackdown on militants by Indonesia’s counter-terrorism police with US and Australian support.

A new threat has emerged in recent years, inspired by IS attacks abroad.

Experts on militant networks have warned for several years that the estimated 1,100 Indonesians who travelled to Syria to join IS posed a threat if they returned home.

Press Association

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