Indonesia rocked by another blast
THERE have been multiple reports of bomb blasts in Indonesia, just a day after explosions at churches in the city of Surabaya killed over a dozen people.
Two militants on a motorcycle blew themselves up outside a police headquarters in Surabaya, injuring at least 10 people, while it was reported that a woman wearing a burqa had detonated a bomb in the capital, Jakarta. It is not known if there have been casualties from the Jakarta blast.
There were additional reports of bombs being found at Semarang airport, and an explosion in Sidoarjo, 20km south of Surabaya, but police said this was an accidental detonation of a device intended to be used against an unknown target. The homemade bomb destroyed a house and killed three people inside.
The attack outside the police headquarters in Surabaya claimed the life of at least one person, and comes just one day after a wave of suicide bombings on churches that killed at least 14 and injured 40. Other sources said the Sunday death toll was 13.
The attack comes the day before the start of the traditional Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
IN BRIEF: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
- A man and a woman on a motorcycle detonated a device outside police headquarters in Surabaya: ten people injured, one believed dead
- Unconfirmed reports of one other blast in Surabaya; details unknown
- An explosion at an apartment block on Sunday night in Sidoarjo, 20km south of Surabaya, killed three people
- There have been unconfirmed reports of a suicide bomber in Jakarta and bombs being found at Semarang airport
POLICE TARGETED IN SURABAYA BLAST
CCTV footage obtained by CNN Indonesia showed there were about five police guarding a checkpoint outside the Surabaya headquarters. A black car pulled up at the gate, shortly followed by two small motorcycles apparently carrying a man, woman and small children. As they pulled up at the checkpoint, explosive devices were detonated. Police officers moving to query the riders were caught in the blast.
East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said a man and a woman on the bike stopped at the security checkpoint.
"That's where the explosion happened," he added.
"Two people were riding (on the motorcycle) and a woman was sitting at the back."
The wave of attacks comes in the wake of Sunday's deadly church bombings which were carried out by members of the same family, including small children.
WIDODO DECRIES 'BARBARIANS'
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has today described the latest bombings as "barbarian" actions and has vowed his country will fight terrorism and eradicate it at its roots.
President Widodo said he had ordered his Police Chief to stand firm and not to make any compromises in wiping out terrorism.
Speaking in Jakarta today in the wake of new round of bombings, at a Surabaya police station in East Java, President Widodo said: "This is a cowardly act, undignified act, a barbarian act. And I have to emphasise, we will fight against terrorism and we will eradicate terrorism to its roots."
And President Widodo expressed frustration that the Indonesian Parliament had failed to pass new anti-terror laws, giving authorities more teeth, since they were first proposed in February 2016.
He said if the new laws were not passed by June he would bypass the parliament and issue a new government regulation.
When asked about the church bombings and today's attacks, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded the threat of terror in Australia and across the Pacific remained very serious.
"While there has been considerable success against terror in the Middle East the threat is from from over. It is very real," he said.
"We have stopped 14 terror plots in Australia including one that would have brought down a A380.
"It is a threat we are committed to meeting and we are putting those resources into those agencies to keep us safe.
"The attacks are shocking, cowardly, we condemn them utterly. It almost beggars belief, the brutality, the inhumanity, the blasphemy.
"These people are the worst. They are threatening civilised nations, a civilised way of life, harmony and religion.
"They are debasing and defaming Islam and our hearts go out to Indonesia and the families accepted."
Before today's blast, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Australia stood united with Indonesia after the weekend's attacks.
"This threat is not going away and Australia stands absolutely united with a very, very crucial friend in Indonesia to make sure we can work with the President and all of the people responsible in the leadership in the Indonesian government to keep their people safe," Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
Mr Dutton said Canberra would be doing whatever it could to support Jakarta.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong condemned the attacks.
"Such an attack has no basis in religion, and is an affront to peace-loving people of all faiths," they said in a joint statement.
"It is particularly concerning to hear reports of the attacks being carried out by a single family, which murdered its own children." Former prime minister Kevin Rudd said the incidents were a "sobering reminder" of the new danger posed by Islamic State fighters returning from Syria and Iraq. "Significant threat to Australians and westerners in SEA (South East Asian) region," he tweeted.
Last year, the Philippines scrambled to quash a five-month IS insurgency in Marawi.
Australia provided surveillance aircraft and has been training Filippino troops in urban combat.
Members of just one family earlier conducted suicide-bombings against three churches in what is Indonesia's second largest city. Six bombers - including two young girls - died, killing at least seven churchurchgoers.
Some 41 people were injured.
National police chief Tito Karnavian said the father detonated a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother and her two daughters wore explosives.
He said the family had returned to Indonesia from Syria, where until recently the Islamic State group controlled significant territory.
Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia researcher Evan Laksmana says Surabaya has seen little unrest in recent decades.
"The city has only seen three attacks since 1977 and the last one in 2001 was targeted at private citizen/property," Mr Laksmana tweeted.
More to come.