Family of six bomb Indonesia churches

"All were suicide attacks, but the types of bombs were different", Gen Tito told reporters.

East Java Police, which also declared 1 alert status in its jurisdiction, called on all churches to cancel services in Surabaya until the situation has been declared safe.

The jihadist group's toll tallied with that of police following the seemingly coordinated attacks against three churches in the city of Surabaya at around 7.30am local time (00.30GMT).

This involved a combination of arrests and targeted killings alongside a deradicalisation programme that focused on altering the mindsets of Indonesians and providing alternative incomes for some released militants. Sunday's attacks were the deadliest to target Christians since a series of bombings on Christmas Eve in 2000 killed 15 people and injured almost 100 others.

At Santa Maria, a Catholic church, shattered glass and chunks of concrete littered the entrance, which was sealed off by armed police.

Mobile brigade police stand guard following attacks outside the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church (Surabaya Gereja Pantekosta Pusat) in Surabaya, East Java on May 13, 2018. "We would like to offer our condolences and sympathy to the family of the victims and to the Indonesian government", he said in a statement. "We are concerned that this has happened many times and has often occurred around Sunday services", said association spokesman, Jeirry Sumampow.

Separately, an internal police report reviewed by Reuters said a suspected bomb exploded in a auto in the parking lot of a Pentacostal church, setting alight dozens of motorbikes.

After meeting with victims who had been taken to area hospitals, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inspected the bombing scenes.

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He added that terrorism was a crime against humanity that had nothing to do with any religion. It was not clear if any other perpetrators were among those killed or injured.

The wife and two daughters carried out an attack at a second church, while two other children rode a motorbike and had a bomb across their laps, the report stated.

Days earlier during a 36-hour standoff, militant Islamist prisoners killed five members of an elite counter-terrorism force at a high security jail on the outskirts of Jakarta.

"Based on intelligence information, they were on the way to Brimob headquarters". It did not refer to the family and said there were only three attackers.

That was the first assault claimed by Daesh in Southeast Asia.

The archipelago nation of some 17,000 islands has long struggled with Islamic militancy and has suffered a series of attacks in the past 15 years - including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, in the country's worst-ever terror attack.

Karnavian identified the father as Dita Futrianto and said he was head of the Surabaya cell of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, an Indonesian militant network affiliated with IS that has been implicated in attacks in Indonesia in the past year.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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