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Indonesia links church attacks to local ISIL-inspired group

13 May 2018, 6:47:00

At least 11 people have been killed in three separate attacks on churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, local police say. More than 40 people were wounded in the attacks.

Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said investigations were ongoing at the three locations.

The attacks were carried out by the members of one family, police told reporters in Surabaya, Indonesia's second city.   

"The father and one of the sons did the attack on the first church, the mother with two young children under the age of ten committed the second attack. Two younger boys around the age of 16 committed the third attack," Step Vaessen, reporting from Surabaya, cited the city's police chief as saying. 

"Several more bombs were found in two different churches that didn't explode," she added.

A spokesperson for the country's intelligence agency said Sunday's bombings were suspected to have been carried out by ISIL-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

Abu Bakar Bashir, JAD's leader, pledged allegiance to ISIL in 2014. The group has committed smaller attacks in the last few years, but this is the largest and most coordinated attack in Indonesia in the last decade.

The attacks took place during Sunday morning church services.

The wife of one of the victims, said the attack took place shortly before the Sunday service was about to start.

"They were about to celebrate mass. My husband was opening doors and welcoming people," she said.

As a result of the bombings, churches have been ordered to evacuate. For the next few days, no services will be allowed because the authorities suspect more attacks could happen.

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