Suspected bomb blast at Indonesia church causes casualties

Monday, 29 Mar, 2021

The Indonesian government strongly condemned the bombing incident at the cathedral church complex in South Sulawesi province's Makassar city on Sunday.

The explosion happened at the cathedral church complex in South Sulawesi's Makassar city, when the church was about to start the third mass congregation.

Security camera footage showed a blast that blew flame, smoke and debris into the middle of the road.

These attacks, which left a total of 15 dead and 13 dead among the attackers, including five children, were the bloodiest the archipelago has witnessed in more than a decade.

Boy Rafli Amar, the head of the country's National Counterterrorism Agency, described Sunday's attack as an act of "terrorism".

'There were two perpetrators killed, one is a man and another one is a woman, ' Prabowo said.

The suicide bombing at an Indonesian cathedral on Palm Sunday was carried out by two members of a pro-Islamic State extremist group blamed for other church blasts, including a deadly 2019 attack in the Philippines, police said.

The bombing occurred at around 10.30 a.m. outside the church.

A pastor from Bandung told International Christian Concern that police alerted churches in Indonesia to stay vigilant after the bombing.

Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the attack, according to Vatican Media.

Churches across Indonesia have tightened security in response to the blast, which took place one week before Easter Sunday. The arrests followed a tipoff about possible attacks against police and places of worship.

Police are seen outside Saint Joseph catholic church after a suspected terror attack by a knife-wielding assailant on a priest during the Sunday service in Medan, North Sumatra.

Makassar is the fifth-largest urban center in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

"State apparatus won't allow such terrorist actions and I call on people to worship calmly, because the state guarantees the security of worshippers to worship without fear".

In subsequent years, security forces in Indonesia scored some major successes in tackling militancy, but more recently there has been a resurgence of militant violence.

That attack was carried out by the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant network and prompted a sustained crackdown on militants.