Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Al-Azhar condemns deadly churches attack in Indonesia

ANALYSISMay 14 2018 12:00pm The Times‘Middle-class’ bombers herald new era in Indonesia’s war on terror Richard Lloyd Parry Asia Editor ANALYSISMay 14 2018 12:00pm The Times‘Middle-class’ bombers herald new era in Indonesia’s war on terror Richard Lloyd Parry Asia Editor
Patty Aguilar | 15 May, 2018, 13:20

The troubling discovery Monday of a trove of completed bombs in a housing complex outside Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, came a day after members of a single family carried out three attacks against separate churches in the city, killing seven people.

East Java Police have reportedly asked for a helping hand from several psychiatrists to assist the orphaned children in dealing with their psychological trauma.

The United Nations Secretary-General condemned the three terrorist attacks on the Surabaya churches. Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaida affiliated network responsible for the Bali attacks, was obliterated by a sustained crackdown on militants by Indonesia's counterterrorism police with USA and Australian support. National police chief Tito Karnavian said they belonged to an IS-inspired network, Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

The father, identified by police as Dita Oepriarto, was said to have driven his wife Puji Kuswat and their two daughters, aged 9 and 12, to the Indonesian Christian Church. With her two daughters present, Kuswati hugged a parishioner before detonating her bomb, according to the Associated Press which cited a security guard.

Television footage appeared to show a person on a motorcycle driving into the grounds of a church before a bomb was detonated.

Concerns about sectarian intolerance have been on the rise, with churches targeted in the past. This bombing comes just a day after a deadly wave of attacks on churches in the city which was staged by another family.

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Police said they also shot dead four suspects, including the second-ranking member of the JAD cell in Surabaya, in raids on houses and offices Monday while nine others were arrested.

The latest casualty count from the suicide bombings that took place at three different churches in Surabaya on Sunday morning now stands at 18.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for an attack on a high-security prison near Jakarta that killed five security forces personnel earlier this month, among other attacks.

Another JI splinter group Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid - founded by elderly cleric Abu Bakar Bashir - was blamed for a 2011 suicide bombing of a Christian church in central Java, wounding dozens. However, the eight year old child amongst them survived.

"If he had not stopped the bombers, there would have been more victims (inside the church)", he said.

ISIS first mounted attacks in Indonesia in 2016, claiming the lives of four civilians in explosions and shootings. The country launched a crackdown on militants following bombings by radical is Bali in 2002 killed 202 people.

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