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Indonesia hit with another bomb attack

May 14, 2018

Just one day after suicide bombers hit three churches in the city of Surabaya, a police station has been bombed. Authorities said the attack was carried out by a family of five, including an eight-year-old girl.

Two policemen stand guard after an explosion in Surabaya in Indonesia
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/A. Ibrahim

A family of five carried out a motorcycle bombing at the police headquarters in the Indonesian city of Surabaya on Monday, authorities said.

Only yesterday, Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, was rocked by suicide bomb attacks at three churches, which killed 13 people and injured dozens.

Read more: Indonesia: Deadly Surabaya church attacks committed by family

What we know so far

  • At 8.50 a.m. a motorcycle bomb exploded at a security checkpoint outside the headquarters, police said.
  • Two bikes, carrying a family of five — including an eight-year-old girl, who survived — were involved in the attack.
  • CCTV footage shows there was at least one blast, but authorities think a second bomb may have detonated.
  • There were no other fatalities but 10 people were injured, including four police officers.
  • Several hours earlier, police killed a suspected Islamist militant in his apartment south of Surabaya, after an explosion there.
  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday's attack.

Read more: Why are more Indonesians favoring Shariah?

Government to revise anti-terror laws

President Joko Widodo denounced the attacks and pledged to introduce a new anti-terrorism law to combat Islamist militants. "This is the act of cowards, undignified and barbaric," he said on television.

The country's top security minister, Wiranto, who goes by one name, said the revised law would allow security authorities to take "pre-emptive" action to stop attacks. 

Read more: Indonesia's rightward tilt under a liberal president

Use of children: The latest attack had similar characteristics to Sunday's church attacks, in that it was carried out by a single family, and in both bombings, young children made up part of the group of attackers.

Resurgence of Islamist terror: Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, has seen a resurgence in homegrown militancy in recent years, partly linked to the rise of the "Islamic State." The most serious incident came in January 2016, when four suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a shopping area in the capital, Jakarta.

The country's deadliest terrorist attack occurred in 2002, when bombs exploded on the tourist island of Bali, killing 202 people in one night, mostly foreigners.

mm,ap/ng (AP, AFP)

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