Indonesia: Fifth bomb blast in two days in Surabaya
Share this on

Indonesia: Fifth bomb blast in two days in Surabaya

A BOMB attack on a police headquarters in Surabaya has injured four police officers and six civilians, authorities said on Monday, a day after Islamist militants killed at least 13 people in suicide attacks on churches in the country’s second-largest city, police said.

The blast had occurred at 8.50 am (0150 GMT) at their police office, East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told a briefing. The full extent of casualties was unclear, he said.

“There has been an explosion, we don’t know exactly what happened,” he said. He did not provide any further details as police “are still identifying victims at the scene and the crime scene is being handled.”

CCTV footage from the scene appears to show a motorcycle driving up to the police station car park, with a man driving and a woman at the back. They then detonate the explosives at a security checkpoint.

Monday’s blast is the fifth such incident in two days in Surabay. At around 9pm local time on Sunday, a bomb exploded at an apartment block in East Java, killing three people.

Residents reportedly said they heard multiple blasts from the fifth floor of the Wonocolo apartment building in Sidoarjo.

Frans Burung Mangera said the explosion killed a father, mother and their child. Two other children, a son and daughter from the same family, were rushed to Siti Khodijah hospital for treatment.

SEE ALSO: 23 Islamic State affiliated groups operating in southern Philippines

It is currently unknown if there is any link between the Sidoarjo and the church attacks that occured on Sunday morning.

Targetting Christians attending Sunday sevrice, a mother of four walked into the courtyard of church and detonated explosive devices strapped to her nine-year-old and 12-year-old daughters before exploding the bomb strapped around her own waist.

Just minutes earlier, the woman’s husband drove a bomb-laden car into the city’s Pentecostal church and her sons, aged 16 and 18, rode motorcycles on to the grounds of the Santa Maria Church and detonated their explosives there.

The attack killed 13 people, injured 41, and shocked the Muslim-majority nation for its brutality. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo called it “barbaric and beyond the limits of humanity.”

According to News.com.au, the husband was identified as Dita Futrianto and said he was head of the Surabaya cell of Jamaah Anshorut Daulah, an Indonesian militant network affiliated with Islamic State.

In a statement released on its Aamaq news agency, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, although it only mentioned there were three attackers as opposed to the family of six that carried it out.

SEE ALSO: On social media, Islamic State uses fantastical propaganda to recruit members

The terrorist cell has been ramping up its influence in Southeast Asia following a loss of territory in the Middle East and has proven a draw for a number of militant groups who push their message.

In Indonesia specifically, the group stepped up its efforts after the 2016 Jakarta attack. According to the BBC, the group used Indonesians in its videos to threaten governments and police and to urge supporters to carry out further attacks.

The spread of internet mean recruits are indoctrinated through social media or jihadists sites and are easily accessible from all over the world.

Up to 30 Indonesian groups are known to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State with some previously voicing ambitions to establish an official IS province in Southeast Asia.

An estimated 1100 Indonesians have also travelled to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State, experts say. Dita Futrianto, his wife Puji Kuswati, and their four children, were among this number and had recently returned to Indonesia from the war-torn nation.

Widodo has pledged to push through a new anti-terrorism bill to combat networks of Islamist militants in response to Monday and Sunday’s attacks.

“This is the act of cowards, indignified and barbaric,” he said on Metro TV on Monday.

Widodo said he would issue a regulation in lieu of a law next month to force through a new anti-terrorism bill if parliament failed to pass it

Additional reporting by Reuters.