Two killed in bomb attacks on Indonesian churches

Howard TerryMay 13, 2018

JAKARTA, Indonesia-At least six people were killed, including a suicide bomber, in attacks at three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, on Sunday, police said.

More than a dozen people were also injured in three bomb attacks, including one by a suicide bomber, on three churches in Surabaya, the country's second largest city, police said.

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A member of the police bomb squad unit examines the site of an explosion outside the Immaculate Santa Maria Catholic Church, in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia May 13, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

It was followed by a second explosion in another church that killed another person while two were rushed to a hospital.

At least three people were killed and 10 others wounded, police and media reported.

"I was frightened... many people were screaming", 23-year-old witness Roman told AFP after the blast at Santa Maria church.

The official death toll climbed from an initial two killed and may include those who succumbed to injuries in hospital.

"The victims are being identified", Mangera added.

Recall, may 13, in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, East Java province, during the morning Sunday bombings of three churches.

Indonesian police shot and wounded a man who attacked a church congregation in the town of Sleman with a sword during a Sunday mass in February. Television images showed toppled and burnt motorcycles and debris scattered around the entrance of one church and police cordoning off areas as crowds gathered.

The bombings come days after Islamist militant prisoners killed five members of an elite counter-terrorism force during a 36-hour standoff at a high security jail on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.

Authorities suspect the Islamic State-inspired group Jeemah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) of being behind the attacks, although no one has claimed responsibility yet.

Indonesia is home to significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists but there are concerns over rising intolerance.

The archipelago nation of some 17,000 islands has long struggled with jihadist elements and has suffered a series of attacks in the past 15 years - including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, in the country's worst-ever terror attack.

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