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20 injured in Palm Sunday suicide bomb attack on church

At least 20 people have been injured after
a suicide bomb attack on a church in
Indonesia on Palm Sunday.
The attack happened at the Roman
Catholic Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in
Makassar, on Sulawesi, at about 10:30
local time (03:30 GMT).
The cathedral was targeted as people were
leaving a service for Palm Sunday, which
commemorates Jesus’ entry into
Jerusalem before his crucifixion and marks
the start of Holy Week.
The BBC reports that two attackers
approached the church on motorbikes and
that the explosion happened as they tried
to enter the compound.
They were the only fatality in the attack
which has been blamed on extremists,
although no particular group has claimed
responsibility yet.

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Indonesian president Joko Widodo has
strongly condemned the attack.
In a video broadcast, he called it an “act of
terrorism”, and said the government would
ensure everyone can worship freely and
“without fear” in the world’s largest
Muslim-majority country, Reuters reports.
Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil
Qoumas has ordered that security be
stepped up around places of worship.
“Whatever the motive is, this attack cannot
be justified by any religion because it only
does harm to other people,” he said.

It is not the first time churches have been
targeted in Indonesia. In 2018 , at least 13
people were killed and 40 injured in suicide
bomb attacks on three churches
in Indonesia’s second-largest city of
The attacks were carried out by a family of
six, including two daughters aged 12 and 9,
who were reportedly Islamic State
sympathisizers and had recently returned
from Syria.
In 2000, attacks on churches at Christmas
killed about 20 people.

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