Massive Terrorist Attack Leaves 20 Wounded

( Early on Sunday morning, at least 20 people were injured at a Roman Catholic church in Indonesia when two suicide bombers attacked the church.

Indonesia’s state officials said that no deaths have been reported thus far. According to police, both attackers who attacked the compound in Makassar did die.

Around 10:30 a.m. on the first day of the Catholic Holy Week, the suicide bombers initiated the attack as mass was wrapping up at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral. Those bombers tried to enter the compound by riding motorbikes.

According to local news reports, at least one bomb was detonated by the entrance to the compound.

In a televised address, Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, said the attacks were an “act of terrorism.” He ordered police in the country “to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators’ networks and tear down the networks to their roots.”

The attacks occurred on Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week that leads up to Easter Sunday. Joko called on all Indonesian people to try to remain calm. He also said “the state guarantees the safety of religious people to worship without fear.”

Indonesia is home to around 13% of the world’s total Muslim population, making it the largest country with a Muslim majority in the world. In recent years, there have been increasing extremist actions based on religion.

And Sunday’s attacks at a Catholic church are just another example of this religious violence.

Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, the Religious Affairs Minister in Indonesia, said police need to work on beefing up security at various places of worship. He said:

“Whatever the motive is, this attack cannot be justified by any religion, because it only does harm to other people.”

Thus far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack on Palm Sunday.

Argo Yuwono, a spokesman for the national police, told Reuters that authorities are starting to investigate possible ties between the two suicide bombers and any radical terrorist network.

Back in 2018, a similar suicide bombing attack took place on Indonesian soil. In that attack, five members of one family were riding on motorbikes that had explosives on them. The attack wounded at least 10 people.

That attack happened only days after three churches throughout Indonesia had been attacked, resulting in the death of more than 12 people. All of these attacks happened in and around Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya.

The church attacks in 2018 involved at least five people. The series of bombs were set off by a family of six members, including two girls who were 9 and 12 years old. The suicide bombings were some of the deadliest in the country, according to an NPR report.

Immediately following those attacks, no specific group claimed responsibility for the attacks. But, the Islamic State eventually said it directed the suicide bombings at the churches.

In those blasts, four police officers and another six civilians were injured, in addition to the more than 12 who died as a result.