Bomb Attacks Rock Three Indonesia Churches

Television images showed debris scattered around the entrance of one church and police cordoning off areas as crowds gathered

"There have been three attacks at three churches", Frans Barung Mangera, a spokesman for East Java police said.

"I was sitting at the canteen in front of the church when I heard a loud explosion", Endang, a worshipper at Santa Maria, told Kompas TV.

Two police officers were among the injured.

The U.S. State Department designated JAD as a terrorist group in January 2017.

Churches have also been targeted previously, including near-simultaneous attacks on churches there at Christmas in 2000 that killed about 20 people.

Asked who he thought were the brains behind the attacks, Purwano said: "Still the old group, JAD, who has planned this for sometime".

According to East Java police spokesman, overall 35 people were injured.

It was not clear if the shootings were connected with the church attacks.


The police have conducted investigation in the three locations, he said.

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

Attempted crackdown: The Indonesian government has carried out a sustained crackdown on militant extremists since al-Qaida-affiliated radicals bombed a tourist section of Bali in 2002, killing 202 people.

As Indonesia is mostly Muslim-majority country is facing resurgence of Islamist militancy in recent months.

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

In the 8am (local time) incident in Indonesia's second largest city, three suicide bombers simultaneously detonated their explosive devices at the Santa Maria Catholic Church, the Indonesian Christian Church and Pentecost Central Church.

"The main target is still security authorities, but we can say that there are alternative [targets] if the main targets are blocked", he told Reuters.

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