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Female 'lone wolf' attacker killed during gunfight at police headquarters in Jakarta

Female 'lone wolf' attacker killed during gunfight at police headquarters in Jakarta

Indonesian authorities shot a person who entered the national police headquarters in Jakarta, in an incident described by local media as an "alleged terror attack" AFP/Mariana

JAKARTA: A woman was shot dead by Indonesian police in a gunfight at the force's national headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon (Mar 31).

The 25-year-old was a "lone wolf" who believed in Islamic State ideology, police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo told a news conference late on Wednesday. 

At around 4.30pm, the woman walked towards the main gate of the building. "She fired six shots and police retaliated," Prabowo said. 

In her final Instagram post before the attack, she posted an image of the IS flag, he said, adding that the authorities have found her will at her home. She had also messaged her family to say goodbye over WhatsApp. 

Back gate of Indonesia's police headquarters compound in Jakarta on Mar 31, 2021. Earlier, local media reported that gunfire was heard. (Photo: Kiki Siregar)

​​​​​​​The police are looking into the possibility that she may have been part of a network. 

"I have instructed Densus 88 to investigate (a) possible link between the suspect and a (terror) network," Prabowo said, referring to Indonesia's counter-terrorism unit.

"I have instructed my men to continue to provide public services but stay vigilant and increase security both at their headquarters and on the field," he added. 

Earlier, major TV broadcasters aired images that showed what appeared to be a person wearing a blue veil and long black clothes entering the complex as gunshots rang out.

The lone figure fell to the ground and lay motionless afterward as police surrounded the body, the images showed. It was not immediately clear if the individual was armed. 

Kompas TV and Metro TV said the individual seen entering the compound was a woman. TV One said one person at the scene was dead and gunfire had been exchanged.

Crime scene investigators as seen outside Indonesia's police headquarters compound in Jakarta on Mar 31, 2021. (Photo: Kiki Siregar)

When CNA arrived at the scene, armed personnel could be seen guarding the compound. Crime scene investigators were also seen entering the building.

Loud sirens could be heard as several bomb squad vehicles arrived at the building.

Heavy security presence outside the national police headquarters in Jakarta on Mar 31, 2021. (Photo: Kiki Siregar)

Police outposts have been frequent targets of Indonesian extremists in the past.

The exchange at the police headquarters in downtown Jakarta came three days after a husband and wife carried out a suicide bombing at a cathedral in Makassar on Sulawesi island on Palm Sunday, wounding 20 and killing only themselves.

READ: Indonesia church suicide bombers were newlyweds who learnt bomb making online

READ: Indonesia church suicide bomber was member of pro-Islamic State group behind Jolo attack: Police

Several of the wounded were in intensive care for serious burns.

The couple who attacked the church belonged to pro-Islamic State extremist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), police have said, warning of more possible attacks.

More than a dozen others suspected in the plot have been arrested in recent days.

Source: AGENCIES/cna/vc


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