A Catholic cathedral in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province was rocked by a suicide bombing on Sunday, police said.
The blast, in the city of Makassar, wounded 14 people including church workers and worshippers, officials said.
They added that two attackers were likely responsible. One of them detonated his explosives and died near the gate.
The congregation had been inside the church at the time of the explosion, South Sulawesi police spokesman E. Zulpan told Reuters.
“We see that there are victims and parts of human bodies have been torn apart. We do not know yet whether they are from the perpetrator or from the people who were close by,” he said.
Kompas TV broadcast video footage purportedly showing the moment the explosion happened.
Priest describes bombing
Father Wilhemus Tulak, a priest at the church, told local media that the suspected bombers tried to enter the church grounds on motorbikes, but had been stopped by a security guard.
He said some of those wounded were in serious condition.
Video from the scene showed police had set up a cordon around the church and cars parked nearby were damaged.
No claim of responsibility
The blast took place at 10:28 a.m. local time (0328 a.m. UTC/GMT) on Palm Sunday, the first day of the Easter holy week, which commemorates Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem.
Police did not say who might be responsible for the apparent attack and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The city’s Mayor Danny Pomanto said the blast could have caused far more casualties if it had taken place at the church’s main gate instead of a side entrance.
Makassar is Indonesia’s fifth-largest urban center after Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Medan, with a population of 1.5 million.
Churches have been targeted previously by extremists in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation.
In 2018, a dozen people were killed when a family of suicide bombers blew themselves up at churches during Sunday services in the second-biggest city Surabaya.
The country’s deadliest Islamist militant attack took place on the tourist island of Bali in 2002, when bombers killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.
mm, sri/sms (Reuters, AFP)