11 killed, dozens wounded in bomb attacks at 3 churches in Indonesia: Police

11 killed, dozens wounded in bomb attacks at 3 churches in Indonesia: Police

Indonesia church blasts
Indonesian bomb squad examine the site following a suicide bomb outside a church in Surabaya on May 13, 2018. (Photo: Juni Kriswanto/AFP)

JAKARTA: At least eleven people were killed and 40 injured in a wave of blasts including a suicide bombing outside churches in Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya on Sunday (May 13), police said, tripling the initial death toll.

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

"The victims are being identified," the spokesman added.

The deadly blasts all occurred within 10 minutes of each other, police said, with the first explosion at 7.30 am (0030 GMT).

TV footage appeared to show a person on a motorcycle driving into the grounds of one church before a bomb went off seconds later.

Televised eyewitness reports suggested that one suicide bomber was a veiled woman with a couple of children in tow.

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


In an update, police said they "secured" an unexploded bomb in a church in Surabaya.

Authorities had earlier said they were investigating whether there was an explosion at a fourth church.

Police ordered the temporary closure of all churches in Surabaya, and a large food festival in the city was cancelled.

The bombings come days after Islamist militant prisoners killed five members of an elite counter-terrorism force during a 36-hour standoff at a high security jail on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.


Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attacks, the militant group's Amaq news agency said, without providing any evidence.

"Three martyrdom attacks inflicts at least 11 deaths and 41 injuries of the churches' guards and Christians in the city of Surabaya in East Java province in Indonesia," the agency said in a statement that gave no further details.


In a later update, officials said that a family of six launched the suicide attacks. 

"The husband drove the car, an Avanza, that contained explosives and rammed it into the gate in front of that church," East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told reporters at the regional police headquarters in Surabaya.

The wife and two daughters were involved in an attack on a second church and at the third church "two other children rode the motorbike and had the bomb across their laps", Mangera said.

The two daughters were aged 12 and 9 while the other two, thought to be the man's sons, were 18 and 16, police said.


Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the attacks were "barbaric" and ordered police to track down the perpertrators.

At a news briefing alongside Police Chief Tito Karnavian, Widodo said that in one of the attacks, two children had been used in the bombing.

"I have instructed police to look into and break up networks of perpetrators," said Widodo.

Source: Agencies/mn/ad