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Indonesia: Suspected Bomber Injures Self in Explosion

Ahmad Syamsudin
Jakarta
2019-06-03
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An Indonesian policeman keeps watch as bystanders look on following an explosion at the home of a suspected militant in Sibolga on Sumatra island, March 13, 2019.
An Indonesian policeman keeps watch as bystanders look on following an explosion at the home of a suspected militant in Sibolga on Sumatra island, March 13, 2019.
AFP

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET on 2019-06-03

A man suffered serious injuries Monday when a bomb he was carrying exploded near a police outpost in Indonesia’s Central Java province, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how many police officers were at the outpost when the blast occurred, but there were no other reports of injuries, officials said. No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

“A man approached the police outpost, sat for a moment, and then there was an explosion,” national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told reporters. “It is suspected that the perpetrator was injured in the abdomen.”

Gov. Ganjar Pranowo told the Metro TV that the bloodied man was rushed in a police van to a hospital after he was seen lying on the road near the Kertasura Monument, a landmark in Sukoharjo regency.

"This is an attack on the police officers and not the first one. Because of that, we urge the public not to worry, but continue your activities," Central Java police chief Rycko Amelza Daniel told reporters while visiting the scene early Tuesday (local time). Investigators believe the injured man was the perpetrator due to the nature of his injuries, Rycko said.

The explosion occurred as millions of Indonesians were returning to their home villages for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival that concludes Ramadan.

Police said last week that they were on increased alert for possible terrorist attacks during the holiday season, with more than 160,000, police and military personnel, as well as civilian auxiliary forces being deployed.

Eight people were killed last month in two nights of riots during rallies by supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who rejected the election result, claiming widespread fraud.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said last week that post-election tensions were adding to security vulnerabilities.

In May, police said they had arrested 29 people on suspicions of planning an attack during planned rallies by Prabowo’s supporters. The suspects were caught in raids across the nation and were believed to be members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local militant network affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, authorities said.

“This is terrorism,” Wawan, Hari Purwanto, spokesman for the National Intelligence Agency, told Metro TV, referring to Monday’s blast.

“Not all terrorist suspects have been arrested,” he said.

Updated to add comments from Central Java police chief Rycko Amelza Daniel.

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