Suicide blast injures Indonesian churchgoers on Palm Sunday
(Update 2: updates death toll and casualties)
Jakarta, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- At least 20 people were injured on Palm Sunday in a suicide bombing at a Catholic cathedral on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, official sources announced.
The interior minister, Mahfud, confirmed that the attack was a suicide bombing carried out by two people using a motorcycle.
The explosion occurred in Makassar at around 10.20 am, national police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.
The motorbike had been stopped by security at the gate to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral.
Video from the scene showed a smoking motorbike on its side, while another showed a ball of flames shooting across a road with debris scattering. Others showed people with bleeding wounds.
Merdisyam, head of South Sulawesi Police, said one person, believed to be a perpetrator, had been killed and that casualties included church workers and parishioners.
The church’s Palm Sunday sermon, marking the start of Easter, had begun 8.30 am and lasted 90 minutes, with limited attendance due to Covid-19 epidemic restrictions. Some of the congregation were inside the cathedral at the time of the blast.
A counter-terrorism force was on its way to Makassar, and police were investigating whether the suspect belonged to any network, Yuwono said.
The Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemned the attack in a statement issued a few hours after the incident.