What we know so far — Surabaya church bombings

  • What we know so far — Surabaya church bombings

What we know so far — Surabaya church bombings

"Nine people are dead and 40 are in hospital", East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told reporters, adding that two police officers were among the injured. The third attack occurred at the city's Pantekosta Church, during which another 2 people died. Images of the scene showed a number of burnt motorcycles. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility. "Suddenly she hugged a civilian then (the bomb) exploded", said a civilian guard named Antonius. Attacks come days after militants kill 5 in prison standoff. "We will have a media center for journalists", he said.

Inspector general Machfud Arifin told CNN Indonesia that the suicide attacks were carried out using a motorbike at St Mary's church and a vehicle at another. A witness interviewed by CNN Indonesia said shortly before the explosion he saw a person on a motorbike drive in carrying a cardboard box.

Photos and videos of the aftermath of the bombings, some of them graphic, spread quickly online, while the East Java Police were still gathering information of what had just transpired in the province's capital, Surabaya, the nation's largest city after Jakarta.

Indonesian television showed debris scattered around the entrance of one of the churches and police closing off certain areas as crowds began to gather.

More than a dozen people were also injured in three bomb attacks, including one by a suicide bomber, on three churches in Surabaya, the country's second largest city, police said.

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The police spokesman declined to give more details on the victims. "We must leave it completely to the government to handle", the head of the Indonesian Communion of Churches said in a statement on Sunday quoted by The Jakarta Post.

Almost 90 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people are Muslim, but there are significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

Indonesia has had some major successes tackling militancy inspired by al Qaeda's attacks on the United States in 2001.

The radical Islamist, who had wanted to fight with the Islamic State group in Syria, injured four people.