One dead after suicide bomber hits Indonesian police station

The convicted bomb-maker entered the Astana Anyar police station in Bandung with a motorcycle and detonated one of two devices he was carrying as police were lining up for a morning assembly.
One dead after suicide bomber hits Indonesian police station
A police station where a bomb exploded in Bandung, West Java (AP)

One officer has been killed and 11 other people were injured after a Muslim militant who was released from prison last year blew himself up at a police station in Indonesia’s West Java, officials said.

The convicted bomb-maker entered the Astana Anyar police station in Bandung with a motorcycle and detonated one of two devices he was carrying as police were lining up for a morning assembly, city police chief Aswin Sipayung said.

The second explosive was defused.

A video that circulated on social media showed body parts near the damaged lobby of the police station, which was engulfed in white smoke as people ran out of the building.

A man on a motorcycle detonated one of two bombs at the police station in Bandung, West Java (AP)

Food vendor Herdi Hardiansyah said he was preparing meals behind the station when a loud bang shocked him.

He saw a police officer whom he recognised as one of his customers covered in blood, being carried on a motorcycle by two other officers to hospital. He later learned the officer died.

Ten other officers and a civilian were injured in the attack.

National Police chief Gen Listyo Sigit Prabowo told reporters when he visited the station on Wednesday afternoon that the attacker was believed to have been a member of the militant organisation Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD), which pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group and was responsible for other deadly suicide bombings in Indonesia.

He said police identified the bomber as Agus Sujatno, also known by his alias Abu Muslim.

Eleven people were injured in the blast (AP)

He was released from the Nusakambangan prison island last year after completing a four-year sentence on charges of terrorist funding and making explosives that were used in a 2017 attack on a municipal building also in Bandung, the capital of West Java province.

JAD was designated a terrorist organisation by the US in 2017.

Sujatno was still on police “red” lists of militant convicts after being freed from prison because of his rejection of the government’s deradicalisation programme, Gen Prabowo said.

Police said a piece of paper taped to the perpetrator’s motorbike was recovered with the words, “Criminal code is the law of infidels, let’s fight the satanic law enforcers.”

On Tuesday, Indonesia’s parliament passed a new criminal code that bans sex outside of marriage and insulting the president and state institutions.

The current penal code is a Dutch colonial legacy. A revised code was poised for passage in 2019, but President Joko Widodo urged legislators to delay a vote amid mounting public criticism that led to nationwide protests as opponents said it contained articles that discriminated against minorities and that the legislative process lacked transparency.

The incident is the latest suicide attack in the world’s most populous Muslim nation (AP)

Indonesia has battled militants since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Attacks aimed at foreigners have largely been replaced in recent years with smaller, less deadly strikes targeting the government, police and anti-terrorism forces and people whom militants consider infidels.

In 2019, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a busy police station in Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, wounding at least six people.

In May 2018, two families carried out a series of suicide bombings on churches in the city of Surabaya, killing a dozen people including two young girls whose parents had involved them in one of the attacks.

Last year, two attackers believed to be members of JAD blew themselves up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral during a Palm Sunday Mass on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, killing the two attackers and wounding at least 20 people.

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