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Suspected suicide blast at Indonesian police station kills two

By Reuters   December 6, 2022 | 11:45 pm PT
Suspected suicide blast at Indonesian police station kills two
Armed police officers stand guard following a blast at a district police station, that according to authorities was a suspected suicide bombing, in Bandung, West Java province, Indonesia, December 7, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Willy Kurniawan
Two people were killed and eight wounded in the Indonesian city of Bandung on Wednesday when a suspected Islamic militant who may have been angered by the country's new criminal code blew himself up at a police station, authorities said.

Ahmad Ramadhan, head of the public information bureau for the National Police, said authorities were coordinating with the counter-terrorism unit to investigate the incident, which killed the suspected attacker and one police officer.

The Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group may have been behind the attack, Ibnu Suhendra of Indonesia's counterterrorism agency (BNPT) told Metro TV. He said JAD had carried out similar attacks in Indonesia.

West Java police chief Suntana told Metro TV that authorities were investigating a blue motorbike found at the scene, which they believed was used by the attacker. Attached to the bike was a note carrying a message rejecting Indonesia's new criminal code, which parliament ratified on Tuesday.

"There was a note on the motorbike saying the criminal code is an infidel product, let's eradicate the law enforcers," Suntana said.

Some religious extremists reject the laws of the state, perceiving Islam as the only legitimate authority, analysts say.

The attacker brought two bombs to the scene, Suntana said, but only had time to detonate one.

Footage from the scene on Wednesay showed damage to the police station, with some debris from the building on the ground and smoke rising from the area.

Islamic militants have in recent years carried out attacks in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, including at churches, police stations and venues frequented by foreigners.

In an efforts to crack down on militants, Indonesia created a tough new anti-terrorism law after suicide bombings linked to JAD.

Members of the extremist group were responsible for a series of suicide church bombings in the city of Surabaya in 2018. Those attacks were perpetrated by three families, including young children, and killed at least 30 people.

In 2021, a pair of JAD newlyweds carried out a suicide bomb attack at a cathedral in Makassar, killing only themselves.

 
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