Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

IS-inspired family carried out deadly Indonesia bombings

IS-inspired family carried out deadly Indonesia bombings

The father of the unnamed family carried out one attack, two sons aged 18 and 16 carried out another, and the mother and her daughters aged 9 and 12 attacked a third church during a service in the second city, Surabaya, in the east of the island of Java.

One suicide bomber appeared to have been disguised as a churchgoer.

Also on Sunday, police said they killed four suspected members of JAD in Cianjur, in West Java province, and arrested two others.

Indonesia's national police chief said the suicide bombers were members of one family, including children and teens. The Islamic State militant group asserted responsibility for the attacks, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Shattered glass and chunks of concrete littered the entrance of the Santa Maria Church, which was sealed off by heavily armed police.

Police closed off all three locations during the investigation and President Joko Widodo called the attacks "barbaric" and said he would "uproot the cells entirely".

"At first officers blocked them in front of the churchyard but the woman ignored and forced her way inside".

"Suddenly, she hugged a civilian, then [the bomb] exploded", said the eyewitness, who identified himself as Antonius. Rescue personnel treated victims at a nearby field while officers inspected wrecked motorcycles in the parking lot that had been burned in the explosion.

"I saw two men riding a motorbike force their way into the churchyard. One was wearing black trousers and one with a backpack", said the merchant, Samsia, who uses a single name.

A street merchant outside the church said she was blown away several meters (yards) by the powerful blast. "Soon after that the explosion happened".

Almost 90 percent of Indonesians are Muslim, but the country is also home to sizeable communities of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs. It wasn't clear whether the shootings were connected to the church attacks. Investigators believe the parents belong to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, a terrorist group that lends its support to ISIS in Indonesia, the police general said.

Earlier reports indicated at least 10 people died in the Sunday morning attacks, but Karnavian said during a news conference that seven victims were killed.

"He is appalled at reports that children were used to participate in the attacks", said Mr. Guterres' spokesman in a statement on the incidents, which reportedly left at least a dozen people dead and twice as many injured.

Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals in Bali in 2002 killed 202 people. But there has been a resurgence of ISIS activity in recent years, some of it linked to the rise of ISIS.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has struggled with Islamist terrorism and violence against its Christian minority in the past two decades.

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