Suicide Bombing Kills Indonesian Police Officer, Wounds 10

A suspected Islamic militant suicide bomber killed a police officer and wounded 10 other people in an attack on a police station in the Indonesian city of Bandung on Wednesday, police said.

Police identified the attacker as 34-year-old Agus Sujatno, who was linked to the pro-Islamic State group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) and had already served four years in a maximum security prison for his involvement in a 2017 bombing.

“The fingerprint test and the facial recognition identified the perpetrator as Agus Sujatno, or Abu Muslim,” national police chief Listyo Sigit told a press conference in Bandung, capital of West Java province.

He was released in September 2021 after serving his sentence for a previous bombing in Bandung, Sigit added.

Wednesday’s blast occurred at about 8:00 am at the Astana Anyar police office in Bandung.

“When our officers were doing the morning roll call, a man tried to enter the office forcibly and officers tried to stop him,” said West Java police chief Suntana, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

“The perpetrator insisted on getting closer to our officers while wielding a knife and suddenly an explosion happened,” he told reporters.

A witness who was near the police station said he heard a very loud explosion.

“I heard a bang, it was so loud. I took a peak inside the police office and I saw thick smoke billowing,” Didin Khaerudin, who runs a nearby kiosk, told AFP, adding police ordered shops to close after the blast.

A second device was later found nearby and safely detonated by the police bomb squad, Suntana said.

A civilian passerby was among the injured, who were mostly hit by shattered glass and debris, he said.

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Police said they had found paper messages attached to the blue motorbike ridden by the attacker.

The messages denounced the Indonesian criminal code as a product of “infidels” and urged people to wage a war against law enforcers, police said.

Police also found a stack of papers at the scene rejecting a newly passed amendment to the criminal code.

Some Islamist extremists have called for the implementation of sharia law in Indonesia, which officially recognizes five religions in addition to Islam.

Members of JAD have staged other attacks, including a series of suicide bombings in May 2018 against several churches and a police headquarters in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city.

Those attacks, carried out by families including children, killed a dozen people.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, has long struggled with Islamist militancy.

The Indonesian resort island of Bali was the scene of Southeast Asia’s worst militant attack when Al-Qaeda-linked militants detonated bombs at a bar and nightclub that killed more than 200 people in October 2002.