Family of 6 suicide bombers attacks Indonesia churches - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family of 6 suicide bombers attacks Indonesia churches

Posted: Updated:
SURABAYA, Indonesia -

A family of six suicide bombers that included two young children carried out deadly attacks on three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city on Sunday, police said, as the world’s most populous Muslim nation recoiled in horror at one of the worst attacks on its Christian minority.

At least seven people plus the six bombers died in the attacks in Surabaya, according to police. At least 41 people were injured in the attacks, which Indonesia’s president condemned as “barbaric.”

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 nearly 100. Religious minorities in Indonesia, especially Christians, have been repeatedly targeted by militants.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said that the father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother was with daughters aged 12 and 9 for her attack.

Karnavian said the family had returned to Indonesia from Syria, where until recently the Islamic State group controlled significant territory.

The extremist group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. It didn’t mention anything about families or children taking part in the attack, and said there were only three attackers.

The first attack struck the Santa Maria Roman Catholic Church in Surabaya, police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told reporters at the scene. That blast was followed by a second explosion minutes later at the Christian Church of Diponegoro and a third at the city’s Pantekosta Church, Mangera said.

A witness described the woman’s attack at the Diponegoro church, saying she was carrying two bags when she arrived.

“At first officers blocked them in front of the churchyard, but the woman ignored them and forced her way inside. Suddenly she hugged a civilian then (the bomb) exploded,” said the witness, a security guard who identified himself as Antonius.

Mangera said three unexploded homemade bombs, two at the Pantekosta church and one at the Diponegoro church, were detonated by a bomb squad.

Shattered glass and chunks of concrete littered the entrance of the Santa Maria Church, which was sealed off by armed police. Rescue personnel treated victims at a nearby field while officers inspected wrecked motorcycles in the parking lot that had been burned in the explosion.

A street merchant outside the church said she was blown several meters (yards) by the blast.

“I saw two men riding a motorbike force their way into the churchyard. One was wearing black pants and one with a backpack,” said the merchant, Samsia, who uses a single name. “Soon after that the explosion happened.”

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited the scenes of the attacks and described them as “cowardly actions” that were “very barbaric and beyond the limit of humanity.”

In Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, the Indonesian Church Association condemned the attacks.

“We are angry,” said Gormar Gultom, an official with the association, but urged people to let the police investigation take its course.

Indonesia’s two largest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, also condemned the attacks.

Separately, national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said police fatally shot four suspected militants and arrested two others early Sunday in West Java towns. It wasn’t clear whether the shootings were connected to the church attacks.

“They have trained in order to attack police,” Wasisto said, identifying the militants as members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, an Islamic State group-affiliated network of about two dozen extremist groups that has been implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia over the past year.

Jakarta police placed the capital and surrounding areas on high alert, while the transportation ministry warned airports to be on guard.

The church attacks came days after police ended a hostage-taking ordeal by imprisoned Islamic militants at a detention center near Jakarta in which six officers and three inmates died. IS claimed responsibility.

Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals in Bali in 2002 killed 202 people. In recent years, the country has faced a new threat as the rise of IS in the Middle East invigorated local militant networks.

Christians, many of whom are from the ethnic Chinese minority, make up about 9 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million people.

___

Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:14:31 GMT
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
  • Cold Case: The Missing Wedding Guest

    Cold Case: The Missing Wedding Guest

    Sunday, September 23 2018 11:39 PM EDT2018-09-24 03:39:50 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly two years since anyone has seen or heard from Paul Brazeau. He was last seen at his son's wedding. His brokenhearted family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner with a letter asking for his case to be featured in our Q6 Cold Case series. The day Paul vanished started out so wonderful. "It was a happy day," said Paul's aunt Georgine Glatt. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly two years since anyone has seen or heard from Paul Brazeau. He was last seen at his son's wedding. His brokenhearted family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner with a letter asking for his case to be featured in our Q6 Cold Case series. The day Paul vanished started out so wonderful. "It was a happy day," said Paul's aunt Georgine Glatt. 

    >>
  • Driver finds baby crawling across busy New Jersey road; child unharmed

    Driver finds baby crawling across busy New Jersey road; child unharmed

    Monday, September 24 2018 9:46 AM EDT2018-09-24 13:46:08 GMT
    PHOTO: Facebook/Cory Black CannonPHOTO: Facebook/Cory Black Cannon

    LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Authorities say a baby girl found crawling across a busy New Jersey street was unharmed after a neighbor and passing motorist came to her aid. The child was spotted around 5 p.m. Saturday in Lakewood, in southern New Jersey. The motorist, 41-year-old Cory Cannon of Eatontown, told the Asbury Park Press he saw the girl on Joe Parker Road and initially thought she was a toy. 

    >>

    LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Authorities say a baby girl found crawling across a busy New Jersey street was unharmed after a neighbor and passing motorist came to her aid. The child was spotted around 5 p.m. Saturday in Lakewood, in southern New Jersey. The motorist, 41-year-old Cory Cannon of Eatontown, told the Asbury Park Press he saw the girl on Joe Parker Road and initially thought she was a toy. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • DEVELOPING: SWAT situation near Rockford Bay

    DEVELOPING: SWAT situation near Rockford Bay

    Monday, September 24 2018 12:59 PM EDT2018-09-24 16:59:35 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Multiple agencies are on scene of a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay.  Details are very limited at this time, but the scene is located near Bellgrove Road and Highway 95. Law enforcement is asking citizens to avoid the area.  KHQ's Adam Mayer is on scene working on confirming additional details. Check back for updates. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Multiple agencies are on scene of a SWAT situation near Rockford Bay.  Details are very limited at this time, but the scene is located near Bellgrove Road and Highway 95. Law enforcement is asking citizens to avoid the area.  KHQ's Adam Mayer is on scene working on confirming additional details. Check back for updates. 

    >>
  • Celine Dion to end Las Vegas concert residency next year

    Celine Dion to end Las Vegas concert residency next year

    Monday, September 24 2018 12:07 PM EDT2018-09-24 16:07:46 GMT

    Celine Dion has announced she will end her Las Vegas residency next year.    The singer announced on social media Monday that she will leave Caesars Palace in June 2019.    Dion says the decision brings mixed emotions as the Colosseum venue has been a big part of her life for the past 20 years.    This will mark the end of her second long-running residency at Caesars Palace.    Dion has performed nearly 1,100 shows there since 2003. 

    >>

    Celine Dion has announced she will end her Las Vegas residency next year.    The singer announced on social media Monday that she will leave Caesars Palace in June 2019.    Dion says the decision brings mixed emotions as the Colosseum venue has been a big part of her life for the past 20 years.    This will mark the end of her second long-running residency at Caesars Palace.    Dion has performed nearly 1,100 shows there since 2003. 

    >>
  • Party City unveils "Ghosted" costume for Halloween

    Party City unveils "Ghosted" costume for Halloween

    Monday, September 24 2018 11:40 AM EDT2018-09-24 15:40:10 GMT
    Your worst dating nightmares can now be your Halloween costume.   Party City is currently selling a "Ghosted" costume for Halloween, referencing a term where a date suddenly begins ignoring your texts, never to reply again.  The costume has gone viral on Twitter this week, and is vaguely shaped like a ghost, with a price of $24.99. >>
    Your worst dating nightmares can now be your Halloween costume.   Party City is currently selling a "Ghosted" costume for Halloween, referencing a term where a date suddenly begins ignoring your texts, never to reply again.  The costume has gone viral on Twitter this week, and is vaguely shaped like a ghost, with a price of $24.99. >>