4 suicide attackers killed as they target police in Indonesia

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GB news 24 desk//

Surabaya, Indonesia: The Indonesian city of Surabaya has been targeted by a string of attacks in the past 24 hours, including suicide blasts at three churches on Sunday carried out by a single family with four children.

Another family is believed to have carried out an attack at a police station Monday morning, in which four perpetrators on two motorbikes drove into the main gateway of the building before detonating explosives, police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said.

The four attackers died, while an eight-year-old girl who was on one of the motorcycles was thrown clear and survived. Ten people, including four police officers, were wounded in the attack, reports the CNN.

Excluding the attackers, eight people were killed in the series of bombings Sunday, when a husband and wife used their four children in deadly suicide attacks on three Christian churches.

Rise of extremism

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has struggled in recent months with a rise in Islamist militancy, which has come as ISIS has been squeezed out of its heartland in Syria and Iraq.

‘These attacks are the nightmare scenario that’s been anticipated since Indonesians affiliated with ISIS have returned from the Middle East,’ said Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics at Deakin University in Australia.

Police Head General Tito Karnavian, Indonesia’s top-ranking police officer, said he suspects the family that attacked the churches were members of terrorist group of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a main supporter of ISIS in Indonesia. Earlier reports had said the family had recently returned from Syria but Tito Karnarvian said Monday that was not the case.

The family’s two young daughters, aged 9 and 12, were present when their mother detonated one of the bombs, and the couple’s two teenage sons carried out a separate attack on another church. All members of the family died in the attacks.

Through its Amaq News Agency, ISIS claimed responsibility for what it called ‘martyrdom attacks’ on the churches in Surabaya.

In a separate incident later Sunday night that police also called a terrorist attack, a bomb exploded at the Wonocolo low-cost housing complex in the city.

The bomb exploded prematurely, instantly killing a woman and her 17-year-old daughter, Barung Mangera said, adding police later found the father of the family in the house holding a detonator, and shot him.

The family’s 12-year-old son took his two younger sisters to the Bhayangkara Police hospital, he said.

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