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Islamic State group claims deadly Indonesia church attacks

14 May 2018

At least 11 people are dead with 40 others wounded after three churches in Indonesia were attacked by suicide bombers with alleged ties to an Islamic State-inspired group during Sunday morning services.

Six people including the suicide bombers were killed and at least 35 others injured as suicide bombers blew themselves up during services in three churches in Surabaya on Sunday.

"We join the people of Indonesia in mourning those who lost their lives in the terrorist bombings of several churches in Surabaya", he added.

"We are angry with these attacks, but we leave it to the authorities to resolve them", said Gormar Gultom, an official with the association.

Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze following a blast at the Pentecost Church Central Surabaya (GPPS), in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Pic.

The bombings at three churches in Surabaya were Indonesia's deadliest for years, as the world's biggest Muslim-majority country grapples with homegrown militancy and rising intolerance towards religious minorities.

In recent years the Asian nation has been fighting against radical extremism as ISIS attempts to recruit members within the country.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was quick to condemn the attacks and the use of children as suicide bombers.

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Police say all the attackers, including a woman with children, were members of one family.

At hospitals people were donating blood for the injured.

"Following the bomb attacks in three churches in Surabaya, all areas in the Jakarta Police's jurisdiction have been placed under the highest alert status until further notice", Jakarta Police chief Insp. Hours after the attack, a large blast was heard as a bomb disposal squad dealt with a device, the report stated.

"I'm particularly close to the dear people of Indonesia, especially to the Christian community of the city of Surabaya strongly hit by the grave attacks on places of worship", the pope said after his weekly Sunday Regina Coeli prayer.

A witness described the attack at Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church. At least 41 people including two police officers were in hospital following the suspected terror attacks.

Explosions also occurred in the Protestant Church in Jalan Diponegoro and Pentecostal churches on the street Arjuno. In recent years, the country has faced a new threat as the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East invigorated local militant networks.

Almost 90 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people are Muslim, but there are significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

In 2002, over 200 people were killed in two bombings carried out by al-Qaeda-linked militants outside a bar and nightclub on the island of Bali, a popular tourist destination.

Islamic State group claims deadly Indonesia church attacks