JAKARTA: While most people thought that suicide bombings are things of the past in Indonesia, a fresh suicide bombing in a police precinct occurred on Monday morning, Xin Hua reported.
This was the first time that such incident happened in a police precinct after the last one in April 2011 that was carried out by a young Muslim militant in Cirebon, West Java.
Unlike the attack in Cirebon that caused injuries among police officers who were about to say their noon prayer in a mosque, the suicide bombing at a police precinct in Poso did not hurt any police officer but killed the bomber himself whose body was decapitated by low-explosive bomb strapped in his waist, the police said.
Lately, the city of Poso in Central Sulawesi province has been plagued by sectarian conflict.
“Even though the perpetrator’s body was decapitated by the bomb, the explosion did not impact on the police precinct and the occupants,” Soemarno, spokesperson at Central Sulawesi police office, said on Monday.
After the explosion, the police found parts of the bomber’s body scattered in the premises. His head, however, was intact. The suicide bomber, whose identity is still being determined, is about 24 to 35 years old.
Police said that the bomb was remotely detonated since some witnesses heard a minor explosion before the big explosion ripped off the body of the suicide bomber.
The bomber came to the Poso police precinct by a motorbike. He went straight to the police precinct’s front lawn and blew himself up there, according to witnesses.
After the explosion, police beefed up security and combed the area around Poso regency. They searched commuters in several points in the regency’s border areas for the bomber’s accomplices.
Meanwhile, the body parts of the bomber were stored at police hospital for further post-mortem examination.
Attacks against police and their premises by militant groups in several parts of Indonesia have been on the rise during the last few years.
After the bombing in Cirebon, a police precinct in city of Solo, Central Java was shot at in August last year, injuring two police officers. A day later, a police was shot while serving a police outpost in the city’s downtown area.
In October last year, two police officers, who were earlier reported missing, were found dead in a hastily-dug grave in Poso City. The police suspected that their comrades were killed by members of a militant group operating in the city.
A traffic police outpost in Poso was also bombed in the same month while investigation into the killing of their colleagues was ongoing. Two policemen and a civilian security guard were injured in the incident.
After interrogation of members of a militant group who were arrested by the police, it was learned that the group wants to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia.
Indonesia is still struggling with radicalism and terrorism after the major bomb attack in Bali in 2002 that killed 202 tourists, mostly from Australia and other Western countries.
Although Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country and is the largest economy in Southeast Asia with above 6 percent growth in the last few years, it is a constitutional democracy and the government recognizes the rights of other religions to adhere to their faith and practice their customs and traditions.