A man blew himself up Wednesday outside a police station on Indonesia’s main island of Java in what appeared to be the latest in a string of suicide attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
Bandung Police Chief Aswin Sipayung said a man tried to enter the Astana Anyar police station with a motorcycle and detonated explosives where police were lining up for morning assembly, injuring at least three officers. He said police are still investigating the attack in West Java’s Bandung city and whether the man, who has not been identified, had links to radical groups. A video that circulated on social media showed body parts scattered near a burning motorbike at the gates of the police station.
Television reports showed white smoke billowing from the building and people running in panic subsequent to a loud bang. 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 who militants consider infidels. 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.
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Police said the father was the leader of a local affiliate of Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah. Last year, two attackers believed to be members of a militant network that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group 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.