Makassar church attack was suicide bombing: Top security minister

News Desk Agencies

An attack on an Indonesian cathedral on Sunday was a suicide bombing committed by two people, Coordinating Political, Legal Security Affairs Minister has said.

“A suicide bombing occurred at the cathedral church in Makassar,” Mahfud MD told reporters in the capital Jakarta. “The two (bombers) died.”

Some 20 others were wounded in the explosion as Christians inside the venue celebrated the start of Holy Week, the minister said.

It was the first official confirmation by authorities that the blast was a suicide attack.

Police said that at least 20 people were injured in the blast.

One death was also confirmed, likely one of the two people on the motorcycle, national police spokesman Argo Yuwono said, adding that among the injured were churchgoers and church security guards.

An official later confirmed that two people “suspected to be the suicide bombers” have died.

The blast occurred during a Palm Sunday Mass at the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province.

“They were trying to enter the church compound when a Mass service just ended but were stopped by the church’s security guards at the gate,” Argo told a press conference, adding that efforts to identify the perpetrators were underway.

In a statement, President Joko Widodo denounced the explosion as a “terrorist act.” He asked the public to go ahead and attend worship services, saying the state will guarantee their safety.

Argo said security will be intensified in churches across the country as the holy week for Christians that ends during the Easter celebrations next Sunday has started.

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