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Sword Attack at Indonesian Church Leaves 6 Injured

Protest in Jakarta, Indonesia

Police shot and wounded a sword-wielding man who attacked a church congregation during Mass on Sunday in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province, injuring five people including a German priest, according to local authorities who said they had not determined a motive.

The suspect and the five others who were wounded at the St. Lidwina Church in Slemen regency were being treated on Sunday evening (Jakarta time) at local hospitals for injuries that were not life threatening. Police said they had not yet interviewed the man in custody to determine why he carried out the attack.

“We are still investigating the case,” Yogyakarta police spokesman Yulianto told BenarNews.

“We haven’t found leads to terrorism yet and it doesn’t seem to be terrorism,” he said, adding that police also had found no evidence the attack was religiously motivated against members of Indonesia’s small Christian minority.

But Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto Ari, the chief of the national police’s criminal investigation division, said Densus 88, an elite unit often deployed in counter-terrorist operations, would be sent to Slemen to assist in the case “to examine whether this is actually an act of terror or action by an individual as a lone wolf,” according to CNN.

Police in Yogyakarta province identified the suspect as Suliyono, a 23-year-old university student from Banyuwangi regency in East Java province.

Apart from the priest, who was identified as Romo Karl Edmund Prier, 80, a German missionary who has lived in Indonesia since 1964, three of the other injured people were churchgoers. The priest suffered cuts to the back of his head and shoulders, according to an eyewitness account.

The policeman who wounded the attacker with two shots to the legs was injured by the man with the Samurai-like sword as the officer intervened to stop the attack, officials said.

According to eyewitnesses, the Sunday morning attack started when the suspect began shouting from outside the church. Then, he burst into the church, allegedly swinging his sword in all directions.

Full story: BenarNews

Kusumasari Ayuningtyas
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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