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Indonesia increases security in churches after jihadist attacks

Jakarta, Apr 2 (EFE) .- Indonesian authorities increased police security in Christian churches on Friday amid the celebration of Holy Week after the jihadist attacks that occurred in recent days in the country.

The measures have been taken after a couple of suicide bombers attacked a church on the island of Sulawesi last Sunday and a jihadist was killed last Wednesday when attacking the headquarters of the National Police in Jakarta.

“I emphasize again that there is no place for terrorism in the country. We have to unite against terrorism,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in a statement yesterday, announcing that he had commissioned the National Police to increase security.

At least 20 people were injured last Sunday when a couple threw themselves with a motorcycle on which they were carrying a bomb, which they exploded near a church in Makassar, in southern Sulawesi.

The attack, in which the couple died, coincided with the mass on the occasion of Palm Sunday that begins Holy Week, celebrated by the Christian minority in the Indonesian archipelago.

Three days later, a 25-year-old girl dressed in a Muslim veil shot several policemen at the headquarters of the National Police in the Indonesian capital and was killed by the officers, none of whom were injured.

Authorities believe that the attacker acted alone inspired by the Islamic State (IS).

In May 2018, at least thirteen people were killed in attacks against three Christian churches on the Indonesian island of Java, in the east of the country, which were claimed by IS, the jihadist group that came to form an unrecognized caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq in 2013 and 2014.

Indonesia, where 88% of its 260 million inhabitants practice Islam, has suffered several jihadist attacks in the last two decades, including the one perpetrated on the island of Bali in 2002, which caused 202 deaths.

(c) EFE Agency

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