Surabaya blast: Terror in Indonesia’s second-largest city
A family of five, including an eight-year-old child, has carried out a bomb attack on a police headquarters in Surabaya killing at least one person and injuring 10, an Indonesian police official has said
The bombing comes just one day after 13 people were killed in the city during coordinated suicide bombings targeting three churches.
The blast occurred at 8.50am, said East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera. Police confirmed the attack was carried out by a family of five, including an eight-year-old, who drove up to the gates of the police station on two motorcycles and then detonated the explosives at the security checkpoint. The young child is now recovering in hospital.
At least one fatality has been confirmed while four policemen and civilians were injured when they were caught up in the blast. The full death toll has not been announced but initial reports said at least seven had been killed in the attack.
“Clearly it’s a suicide bombing,” Mangera told a briefing. “We can’t open up all details yet because we are still identifying victims at the scene and the crime scene is being handled.”
“This is the act of cowards, undignified and barbaric,” President Joko Widodo said on Monday, addressing both the three-pronged attack on Sunday and those on the police station on Monday morning. He said he would make sure that a new anti-terrorism law was pass through parliament by next month to combat the networks of Islamic militants in Indonesia.
Monday’s blast comes after a bomb explosion in an apartment building in East Java killed three people on Sunday evening, just kilometres away and hours after Sunday’s Surabaya attack. Residents reported hearing multiple blasts from the fifth floor of the Wonocolo apartment building in Sidoarjo, at about 9pm on Sunday.
Frans Burung Mangera said the explosion killed three people: 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. However, according to East Java police, the parents and children were the ones who carried out the attack.
“They are the perpetrators, not victims,” East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Mahfud Arifin said on Monday.
Police are investigating possible links between the Sidoarjo and Surabaya blasts but are yet to provide further details.
Local news portal Kumparan reported the father, identified as Anton Febrianto, 47, was holding the trigger to a bomb when police arrived. He was shot dead before he could detonate.
The news follows the horrific events of Sunday morning, when a family of six – a couple and their four children aged between nine and 18 – conducted consecutive suicide bombing attacks on three churches in Surabaya, one less than 14km from the Sidoarjo apartment.
The severity of the attack, the most deadly terrorist strike in Indonesia in more than a decade, and revelations that a family with young children were behind it, has shocked Indonesia. Widodo and Indonesian religious leaders have condemned the attacks as barbaric.
The death toll from the church bombings rose to 13 overnight, when an eight-year-old victim died from organ failure. Forty-three others were wounded.
Six of the dead were those who carried out the attack: Dita and his wife Puji and their four children – two sons, Yusuf, 18, Firman, 16, and two daughters, Fadhila 12, and Famela, nine.
The national police chief said he suspected they had recently returned from Syria, and that Dita was the Surabaya head of the Isis-affiliated Jamaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD) militant group.
Source: The Guardian, The Jakarta Times Abdullah The Kootneeti South & South East Asia Team
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team