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Blasts in 3 Churches : At Least 8 Killed, 35 Injured
14 May 2018, 01:08 | Ross Houston
EXPRESSA bomb exploded at church in Indonesia's Surabaya City in East Java
- December 2000: Improvised bombs disguised as Christmas gifts delivered to churches and clergymen kill 19 people and injure scores more across Indonesia.
Police said the family was among 500 Islamic State sympathizers who had returned to the country from Syria. The following attacks were timed five minutes apart with the father driving a vehicle filled with explosives onto the grounds of the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church.
"These attacks on peaceful worshipers are an affront to the tolerance and diversity embraced by Indonesians".
The death toll included the six family members and seven others.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Indonesia urged Ukrainians to avoid visits surrounding the terrorist attacks of territories to closely monitor the situation through local media.
This morning's attacks have occurred successively at Sunday Mass in a Protestant church, a Catholic and anor Pentecostal in Surabaya, second largest city in Asian country, in norast of island of Java. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.
The large archipelago has seen a resurgence of Islamist militancy in recent months and years.
Attacks on churches in 2000 killed 15 people and wounded nearly 100.
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The bombings were the worst to target churches in Indonesia since a series of attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000 killed 15 people and wounded almost 100. Television images showed toppled and burnt motorcycles and debris scattered around the entrance of one church and police cordoning off areas as crowds gathered. He said 41 people were wounded at that location, including two police officers, while one or more of the bombers were killed.
"A church security officer tried to prohibit them, then the explosion happened", he said.
In a nation of around 260,500,000 people, around 10 percent of the population is Christian. Religious minorities in Indonesia, especially Christians, have been repeatedly targeted by militants.
The group claimed its first attack in the country in January 2016, when four civilians were killed in a series of explosions and shootings in the capital Jakarta.
Purwanto said the church attacks were likely linked to the prison attack, telling Reuters: "The main target is still security authorities, but we can say that there are alternative [targets] if the main targets are blocked".
Visiting the scene of one of the bombings, President Joko Widodo described the attacks as "barbaric", adding that he had ordered police to "look into and break up networks of perpetrators".
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