Bombs went off in three churches in Surabaya, East Java, on Sunday (13/05) morning, killing 11 people and wounding 41 others, a police spokesman said. (Antara Photo)

Eleven Dead and 41 Wounded in Surabaya Terror Attacks, Active Bombs Found


MAY 13, 2018

Jakarta. Bombs went off in three churches in Surabaya, East Java, on Sunday (13/05) morning, killing 11 people and wounding 41 others, a police spokesman said.

Bombs exploded in front of Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church on Jalan Ngagel, the Protestant Christian Church on Jalan Diponegoro and Surabaya Central Pentecostal Church on Jalan Arjuna after 7 a.m. local time.

Kompas TV broadcast CCTV recording from the Santa Maria church, showing a motorcycle entering the parking lot before exploding.

"At least 11 people have died and 41 others were injured. Most likely, the casualties will rise," East Java Police spokesman Commissioner Frans Barung Mangera told the Jakarta Globe.

Victims are being treated at several hospitals in Surabaya.

Following the blasts, a police bomb squad unit found three more undetonated bombs in two of the churches.

"One bomb was found at the Protestant Christian church on Jalan Diponegore, and two more active bombs were found at Pentecostal church [on Jalan Arjuna], which have since been disposed of," Frans said in a press conference.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian flew to Surabaya on Sunday, a few hours after the bombings.

Various civil societies in Indonesia issued statements condemning the attacks.

JAD Members  

Sunday's attacks were carried out by the Islamic State-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), Wawan Purawanto, a spokesman for the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) said, as reported by MetroTV.

"This is connected to the attack at Mako Brimob earlier this week. There were suspected plans for an attack on 11 May, but many areas [in Jakarta] were blocked that day, so we suspect they have moved on to an alternative plan, and these churches are part of that alternative," Wawan said.

He explained that intelligence officers have gathered information about the group's plan of attack, which mostly targets police officers.

"Their main target has always been the police […] It’s still the old group, JAD, they have planned this for some time," Wawan added.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasito on Sunday said that police have increased security at worship places all over Indonesia since Thursday, when a deadly riot erupted at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters near Jakarta.

"Therefore, two police officers are also among the victims," Setyo said.

Wawan said further investigation is needed to prevent other terror attacks that have been planned by JAD.

"We want to investigate further, because they are still planning other [attacks], and we’re against time at the moment. Their main target is law and security enforcement, but they also have alternatives in case that doesn't pan out," he warned.

"We’ve got several names already. Some of them we have caught, while some others are still on the loose. They also have newcomers, and we continue to conduct search operations," Wawan added.

Tight Security Imposed

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Adham Aziz on Sunday increased security status for his personnel following Surabaya churches bombings.

North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw ordered his officers to increase security at churches ahead of afternoon and evening Mass.

In Surabaya, police have been conducting security checks at other churches across the city.

Earier Sunday, before the church bombings, anti-terror unit Detachment 88 shot four suspected terrorists in a shootout in Cianjur, West Java. Police said those suspected terrorists were also linked to JAD.

Additional Reporting by Sheany