Indonesia: explosion near Makassar cathedral, probably targeted by a bomb.


The explosion occurred as mass had just ended, leaving several injured. Parts of human bodies have been discovered; the police are investigating to determine if they are the assailants.

A bomb is believed to be the cause of the explosion which occurred on Sunday near the cathedral in the Indonesian city of Makassar, police said, who confirmed that there were injuries. There was an outburst and we assume it was a bomb. Police spokesman E. Zulpan, for South Sulawesi province, of which Makassar is the capital, told reporters. We have also found human body parts and are investigating whether they belong to the attackers or to people close to them. The wounded were hospitalized. A priest interviewed by local media, for his part, claimed that the attack was committed by a suicide bomber.

The explosion occurred when mass had just ended in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, seat of the Archdiocese of Makassar, in the south of the island of Celebes. Many vehicles were damaged around the building, around which the police were establishing a security cordon, according to an AFP photographer on the spot.

We had finished mass and people were going home when it happened, ” a man described as a priest, identified as Willem, told Metro TV. He claimed that a parishioner tried to prevent what he described as " a suicide bomber " who sought to enter the church. He added that around ten people were injured.

Churches have in the past been the target of extremists in Indonesia, which is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world. In May 2018, a family of six, including two girls aged 9 and 12 and two sons aged 16 and 18, set off bombs against three churches in Surabaya, the country's second city, killing more than a dozen. faithful. The same day a second family detonated, apparently by accident, a bomb in an apartment and the following day a third committed a suicide attack on a police station.

These attacks, which left a total of 15 victims and 13 deaths among the attackers, including five children, were the deadliest in more than a decade in the archipelago. The three radicalized families were linked to the radical movement Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which supports the Islamic State (IS) group. And the attacks had been claimed by ISIS. Indonesia's tradition of tolerance has been put to the test in recent years by a development of conservative, even extremist, Islamic currents, and religious minorities, Christians but also Buddhists and Hindus are worried about religious coexistence.