As many as 32 Indonesians have died in a surge of terrorist attacks and counter-terror operations during the last 48 hours, including the country’s first two suicide bombings perpetrated by entire families, which were claimed by the Islamic State.
The incidents, most of them in East Java, left 13 victims and 19 suspected terrorists dead and dozens injured, according to police.
One day after a family of six carried out triple church-bombings in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, another family attacked the city’s police headquarters early Monday, police said.
Four members of the family that perpetrated Monday’s attack were killed in the blasts, but a fifth member, a girl around 8 years old, emerged from it covered in blood, authorities said. They said the young girl was on a motorcycle driven by attackers.
“Four people killed, while the girl was thrown off and survived,” Indonesian national police chief Tito Karnavian told a news conference, adding that six civilians and four officers were wounded in the attack.
It took place after an entire family, including girls aged 9 and 12, blew themselves up in near simultaneous bomb attacks that targeted three churches in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, around the time of Sunday services, according to authorities. As of Monday night, the death toll in the bombings targeting members of Indonesia’s Christian minority stood at 19, including the six perpetrators, police said.
Police blamed the church attacks and the attack on police headquarters on Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local group inspired by Islamic State.
“They chose Surabaya because they controlled this area. They launched the actions because their leaders were arrested. The instruction came from the central ISIS in Syria,” Karnavian told reporters, using another acronym for IS.
Police identified the father of the family that carried out Sunday’s attack as Dita Apriyanto, 47, and said he was the leader of JAD’s Surabaya cell. They identified his wife as Puji Kuswati, 43.
A witness, Mulyo Hartono, said he saw a woman wearing purdah – a Muslim head covering and veil – walking with two children who were dressed the same way entering the church.
“A church security officer tried to prohibit them, then the explosion happened,” Mulyo said.
Full story: BenarNews
Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.