Sunday, February 24, 2019 | ePaper

Two families staged Indonesian suicide bombings

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The spate of bombings has rocked Indonesia with the Islamic State group claiming the Church attacks and raising fears about its influence in Southeast Asia.

AFP :
A family of five, including a child, carried out the suicide bombing of a police headquarters in Indonesia's second city Surabaya on Monday, police said, a day after a deadly wave of attacks on churches staged by another family. The spate of bombings has rocked Indonesia, with the Islamic State group claiming the church attacks and raising fears about its influence in Southeast Asia as its dreams of a Middle Eastern caliphate fizzle.
Indonesia, which is set to host the Asian Games in just three months, has long struggled with Islamist militancy, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed over 200 people-mostly foreign tourists-in the country's worst-ever terror attack. Security forces have arrested hundreds of militants during a sustained crackdown that smashed some networks, and most recent attacks have been low-level and targeted domestic security forces.
But that changed Sunday as a family of six-including two young girls-staged suicide bombings of churches during morning services in Surabaya, killing 18 including the bombers.
On Monday, members of another family blew themselves up at a police station in the city, wounding 10.
"There were five people on two motorbikes. One of them was a little kid," national police chief Tito Karnavian said. "This is one family." An eight-year-old girl from the family survived the attack and was taken to hospital, while her mother, father and two brothers died in the blast, he said.
The church attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group. The father of the church suicide bombers was a local leader in extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) which supports IS, and the second family was also linked to the the group.
"It ordered and gave instructions for its cells to make a move," Karnavian said of the Islamic State's role in the church attacks.

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