Indonesian church suicide bombers from same family: Police chief

Indonesian church suicide bombers from same family: Police chief

SURABAYA: A family of six, including two young girls, were responsible for Islamic State-claimed suicide attacks that killed at least 11 and injured dozens during Sunday church services in Indonesia, national police chief Tito Karnavian said.

The family - a mother and father, two daughters aged 9 and 12, and two sons aged 16 and 18 - were linked to local extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which supports the Islamic State, Karnavian said.

"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 mother, identified as Puji Kuswati, and her two daughters were wearing niqab face veils and had bombs strapped to their waists as they entered the grounds of the Kristen Indonesia Diponegoro Church and blew themselves up, he said.

The father, JAD cell leader Dita Priyanto, drove a bomb-laden car into the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church while his sons rode motorcyles into Santa Maria church, where they detonated explosives they were carrying, Karnavian said.

"All were suicide attacks but the types of bombs are different," he told reporters.

'UNITE AGAINST TERRORISM': WIDODO

Indonesian president Joko Widodo slammed the attacks, telling reporters: "We must unite against terrorism."

"The state will not tolerate this act of cowardice," he added.

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

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 CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY 

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.

Source: Agencies/ad

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