Indonesian police arrest 5 more after attack at church

Police call for calm after explosion leaves 2-year-old girl dead, 3 other children wounded

Indonesian police arrest 5 more after attack at church

World Bulletin / News Desk

Indonesian police have arrested five more suspects following an explosion outside a church in East Kalimantan province that left an infant dead and three other children injured.

The national police chief said Monday that the five men were taken into custody after the arrest Sunday of a suspect believed to have thrown an explosive at the place of worship in the provincial capital Samarinda.

“We will continue to carry out investigations," Gen. Tito Karnavian was quoted as saying by detik.com

"I ask people to remain calm. Because the attacker's network is already known," he said, describing the attack as being aimed at creating chaos.

Karnavian said the suspected attacker -- a 32-year-old identified by his initial J -- had joined the Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid group whose leader ordered all members to pledge allegiance to ISIL in 2014.

Brig. Agus Rianto, national police spokesman, confirmed that one of the four children wounded in the attack, 2-year-old girl Intan Marbun, succumbed to her injuries in hospital Monday morning.

"The victim died because of burns to 78 percent of her body, which resulted in respiratory infections," he said.

Muslim and non-Muslim organizations have expressed their grief over the infant’s death, with the hashtag #RIPIntan becoming trending on Twitter.

The chief of the biggest Islamic organization in the world’s most populous Muslim country condemned the violence as “very cruel” and “clearly contrary to Islamic teachings”.

"If killing people is his own wish -- moreover, the victim being an innocent child -- and he claimed [the violence] in the name of Islam, then in fact he was degrading, smearing, insulting Islam," Aqil Siroj said.

The Communion of Churches in Indonesia condemned the attack in a statement while expressing hope that security forces would resolve the case.

"We strongly condemn this bombing action. Just like other terror acts, the act of violence regardless of its form, will never be able to solve the problem," said spokesman Jeirry Sumampow.

On Sunday, Karnavian had told reporters that the suspected attacker had previously been in prison on terror charges in relation to a series of bombings in Jakarta in 2011.

"The attacker was a prisoner over the terror bombing at the Research Center for Science and Technology Development and related to the ‘book bombings’," he said.

In 2011, authorities accused an extremist network of carrying out a series of bombings in which packets of books containing explosives were sent to prominent figures in the capital.

That same year, a bomb exploded in front of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education’s Research Center for Science and Technology Development located in Serpong outside of Jakarta.

No one was injured by the explosives.

Indonesia has been on alert against extremist activities over the past year, further heightening security measures after an attack in Jakarta killed eight people -- including four ISIL-linked assailants -- in January.

In August, an 18-year-old arrested after trying to kill a priest in a North Sumatran church was reported to have claimed to have been inspired by love for ISIL's leader in Syria and an attack by ISIL-linked knifemen in France.

AA

Last Mod: 14 Kasım 2016, 13:39
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