Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Four Children Orphaned After Surabaya and Sidoarjo Bombings

Four Children Orphaned After Surabaya and Sidoarjo Bombings

Christians have been targeted before by militants in Indonesia, according to the AP. The majority Muslim population of Surabaya in East Java - dominantly Sunni - adhere to an interpretation of Islam that subscribes to religious tolerance.

Surabaya police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said the militant died in a shootout in a Surabaya neighbourhood with counterterrorism police, who had tried to arrest him over possible involvement in the attacks that killed at least 13 people.

Video footage showed policeman Roni Faisal rushing towards the distraught little girl - standing among the remains of her family.

The families would meet at the home of father Dita Oepriarto, where the family of six orchestrated a plan to bomb Christian churches.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

"If three families can be involved in two days' worth of terrorist attacks in Surabaya, surely there are more ready to act", he said.

The church attacks were likely linked to the prison hostage standoff, Purwanto said.

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"The main target is still security authorities, but we can say that there are alternative [targets] if the main targets are blocked", he told Reuters.

At St Mary's catholic church, one of the places of worship attacked, the bombing happened after an earlier mass was over and when the church was getting ready to hold another service.

Al-Qaeda has carried out the deadliest attacks in Indonesia, killing more than 200 people on the island of Bali in 2002. After Oepriarto dropped his wife and children off at the church, the father then drove to Pentecostal Central Church where he detonated another bomb.

Machmud hopes the bodies will soon be handed over to their family unless if the families do not pick them up, the police will bury them. "No one who does that can claim to be a Muslim", he said.

After some major successes tackling Islamist militancy since 2001, there has been a resurgence in recent years, including in January 2016 when four suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a shopping area in the capital, Jakarta.

Nearly immediately afterwards, there were explosions in a protestant church on the Diponegoro street, where two people were killed, and another one at a pentecostal church on Arjuno street, where another two people died.

Police in Sidoarjo, near Surabaya, recovered pipe bombs at an apartment where a blast on Sunday killed three members of a family alleged to have been making bombs.

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