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Indonesia

Toddler dies in attack on Indonesian church

A toddler has been killed in a Molotov cocktail attack on a church in central Indonesia, the second explosion at a church in the country this year. The suspect, a former terrorist convict, was captured by locals.

A Molotov cocktail attack on a church in Indonesia has killed a 2-year-old and injured three other children.

The children were playing in a car park of the Oikumene Church in Samarinda, the provincial capital of the East Kalimantan province, on Sunday when a man wearing a T-shirt with the word "jihad” on it threw explosives at the church.

Police spokesman Fajar Setiawan said the 2-year-old suffered severe burns to more than three-fourths of her body. "It affected her respiratory system and efforts to save her failed and she died early Monday," said Setiawan.

The other victims of the attack, aged from 2 to 4 years, were still in hospital recovering from less serious burn injuries. "We hope they can come home soon,” said Setiawan.

Suspect stopped by locals

The suspected perpetrator jumped into the Mahakam River after the attack but was quickly captured by locals and taken to police. "The perpetrator has been arrested. Just trust the law enforcers to nab his network,” said Indonesian police chief General Tito Karnavian.

The suspect was identified as a 32-year-old man who was involved with a bomb attack in Tangerang, Banten, on the outskirts of Jakarta and several other bomb attacks in the Indonesian capital in 2011. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and was released in July 2014.

This was the second attack on an Indonesian church in 2016. In August, a would-be suicide bomber attempted to detonate a bomb during a Sunday service in a church in Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatra in western Indonesia. The bomb did not go off but the man managed to stab a priest during the attack.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, has in recent years been hit by a series of attacks blamed on Islamist groups.

kbd/cmk (AP, AFP, dpa)

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