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Church bombings in Indonesia's Surabaya leave 10 dead



Suicide bombers have attacked three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya, killing at least 10 people.

Around 40 others were injured in the attacks, which occurred within minutes of each other. No group has so far said it carried them out.

TV pictures showed debris scattered around the entrance of one church.

Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-majority country, has seen a resurgence of Islamist militancy in recent months.

The bombings took place around 07:30 local time (00:30 GMT). Officials reportedly foiled attacks against other churches.

Wawan Purwanto, of Indonesia’s intelligence agency, said the Islamic State-inspired group, Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), was suspected to be behind the attacks.

He added that the bombings were likely to be linked to an incident earlier this month, when five members of the security forces were killed during a 36-hour standoff with militant Islamist prisoners at a high security prison on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta.

Separately, police said they had killed four suspected members of JAD in Cianjur, West Java, to the south of Jakarta.

More than 90% of Indonesians are Muslim, but there are also significant populations of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

Christian leaders urged calm. “We don’t need to be afraid when facing terror threats. We must leave it completely to the government to handle,” the head of the Indonesian Communion of Churches said in a statement on Sunday quoted by The Jakarta Post.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi condemned the attack and sent her condolences to the victims and their families.

What is the history of militancy in Indonesia?

Following the country’s worst-ever attack in 2002, when bombings on the popular resort island of Bali killed 202 people, authorities launched a crack-down on extremist groups.

But recent years have seen a number of attacks claimed by Islamic State (IS).

Four civilians and four attackers were killed in a series of explosions and shootings in central Jakarta in January 2016; the first attack claimed by the group.

In February this year, a number of people were injured in a sword attack at a church in Sleman, Yogyakarta. Police said that the attacker had previously tried to join IS in Syria.

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Church bombings in Indonesia's Surabaya leave 10 dead

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