Indonesia condemns bombing at South Sulawesi's church

Nine Wounded As Suspected Suicide Bomber Targets Indonesian Church Ahead Of Easter

Several persons were wounded in the incident, police and eye witness account said.

The congregation had been inside the church on the island of Sulawesi at the time of the explosion, police said, just as the mass was ending.

When security guards stopped them at the gate, the bomb went off. "We do not know yet whether they are from the perpetrator or from the people who were close by", he said.

Ansyaad Mbai, former chief of the National Counterterrorism Agency, said the perpetrators were likely part of the same group responsible for a bombing in Jolo, the Philippines, in 2020.

That bombing killed 202 people, majority foreign tourists.

A blast outside a Catholic church in South Sulawesi's provincial capital Makassar yesterday morning killed two suspected suicide bombers and wounded at least 19 people, Indonesian police said.

"In connection with the terrorist attack at the Christian church in Makassar, we are asking Russian citizens in Sulawesi (and everyone else too) to remain calm, not to visit crowded places, to follow police guidelines".

Authorities have said it appeared that at least one of two attackers who drove into the church compound on a motorcycle was killed in the blast. Police say the investigation with the anti-terror unit is ongoing.

During a Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis offered a prayer for the victims of the attack.

President Joko Widodo condemned Sunday's attack and said it has nothing to do with any religion as all religions would not tolerate any kind of terrorism.

An Indonesian cathedral was rocked by a suicide bombing on Sunday with body parts littering the chaotic scene as Christians inside celebrated the start of Holy Week.

Indonesian police carry a bag with the remains of a suspected suicide bomber after an explosion outside a church in Makassar.

In 2018, dozens of people were killed in bomb attacks on churches and a police headquarters in the port city of Surabaya.

Jemaah Islamiyah was once considered the preeminent terror network in Southeast Asia, but has been weakened over the past decade by a sustained crackdown.