The Vatican’s Fides news agency reported that Indonesian Church leaders have expressed shock at the new form of terrorism that became evident in a spate of suicide terror attacks Sunday and Monday in and around the eastern port city of Surabaya, in which three Christian churches were targeted. Sunday’s attacks on churches were carried out by a husband, his wife and their four children, including a 9-year old girl. The first explosion on Sunday took place at Saint Mary Immaculate Catholic Church. The second at Surabaya Pentecostal Church and the third at Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) went off five minutes apart, the police said. Other attacks also took place on Monday. A family of five, that included three children, carried out a suicide bombing on two motorcycles at the Surabaya police headquarters.
As reported by Vatican news, His Grace Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Jakarta, the president of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI), said that “Planning and implementing a suicide attack by taking their children with them is a new form of violence. It is a family tragedy.” Fr. Siprianus Hormat, KWI Executive Secretary expressed Indonesia’s bishops shock and disappointment at the attacks and expressed their solidarity to the families of the victims and the injured.
East Java Police said that 25 people were killed and dozens injured in the bombings over the two days. Of the 25 dead, 13 were perpetrators. The police were now hunting a fourth family suspected of planning another attack.