Explosion hits police HQ in Indonesia's Surabaya

Explosion hits police HQ in Indonesia's Surabaya

Surabaya police HQ
Mobile brigade police patrol around the Surabaya police headquarters following a suicide attack on May 14, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Juni Kriswanto)

SURABAYA, Indonesia: A vehicle explosion occurred at the police headquarters in Surabaya on Monday (May 14), a day after Islamist militants launched suicide attacks on churches in the country's second largest city, police said.

The blast occurred at 8.50 am (9.50 Singapore time) at the checkpoint outside the building. Police confirmed that four perpetrators who used two motorcycles during the explosion are dead; an 8-year-old child who was on one of the motorcycles survived and was taken to hospital.

An earlier police update said that four police officers and six civilians were taken to hospital. 

"Clearly it’s a suicide bombing," East Java police spokesman Frans Barung 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," he said.

Citing CCTV footage, he said a man and a woman on the motorcycle stopped at the security checkpoint. CCTV footage shown on Indonesian television also showed the motorcycle arriving next to a car and exploding as officers approached it.

"That's where the explosion happened," the spokesman added.

"Two people were riding (on the motorcycle) and a woman was sitting at the back."

The latest blast comes just a day after suicide bombers attacked three churches, killing at least 13 people and wounding about 40.

The series of suicide attacks was the "act of cowards", President Joko Widodo later said on Metro TV on Monday, pledging to push through a new anti-terrorism bill to combat networks of Islamist militants in the country.

"This is the act of cowards, indignified and barbaric," he said, adding that he would issue a regulation in lieu of a law next month to force through a new anti-terrorism bill if parliament failed to pass it.

Chief security minister said police, backed by the military, would step up security across the country.

"The president has commanded that police, helped by TNI (the armed forces), to exert all power to secure the nation," coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs Wiranto told reporters.

The church bombers - a mother and father, two daughters aged nine and 12, and two sons aged 16 and 18 - were linked to local extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) which supports IS, police have said.

A further three people in one family were killed and two wounded when another bomb exploded at an apartment complex about 30 kilometres from Surabaya, just hours later, police said.

Surabaya bombing graphic

The mother and one child died from the explosion while police said they shot dead the father who was carrying a bomb detonator.

Two other children were injured in the blast and were taken to hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the apartment bomb.

Source: CNA/Reuters/AFP/na