May 24, 2018

3 churches bombed in Indonesia, 5 killed

13 May 2018, 02:18 | Rufus Hill

EXPRESSA bomb exploded at church in Indonesia's Surabaya City in East Java

A bomb exploded at church in Indonesia's Surabaya City in East Java

"There have been three attacks at three churches", East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said.

Minutes after the first, there was a second explosion at the Christian Church of Diponegoro that killed two people.

Authorities are also investigating whether there was another explosion at a fourth church.

One other died in a hospital, he said.

"Right now there are only three locations".

Bombs exploded outside churches in Jakarta and five other cities and towns on Christmas Eve, killing at least 10, injuring dozens and worsening already hard relations between Muslims and Christians throughout the fractured archipelago. The assailants included suicide and possibly vehicle bombings, namely a motorcycle, for the execution of their attacks.

In 2000 bombs disguised as Christmas gifts delivered to churches and clergymen killed 19 people on Christmas Eve and injured scores more across the country.

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry Sunday, Egypt expressed condolences to the victims of the families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Police have not identified the attackers.

Indonesia has seen "current resurgence in homegrown militancy", the wire service reported. Around 10% of the population are Christian.

A militant group linked to the "Islamic State" (IS) is believed to be behind the attacks, the state intelligence agency said.

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

Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, is Indonesia's second-largest city.

In 2016, ISIS said it carried out a suicide bombing and shooting near a Starbucks in Jakarta.

Seven people were killed, six of them foreigners, and more than 40 were injured when suicide bombers targeted the luxury Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta in July 2009.

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