8 dead, nearly 40 wounded as bombs hit 3 Indonesian churches

A member of the Indonesian bomb squad examines the site following a suicide bomb outside a church in Surabaya on May 13, 2018.
A wave of blasts including a suicide bombing struck outside churches in Indonesia, killing at least six and wounding dozens more. Photo: AFP PHOTO/JUNI KRISWANTO
A member of the Indonesian bomb squad examines the site following a suicide bomb outside a church in Surabaya on May 13, 2018. A wave of blasts including a suicide bombing struck outside churches in Indonesia, killing at least six and wounding dozens more. Photo: AFP PHOTO/JUNI KRISWANTO

Jakarta — Three attacks including one by a suicide bomber disguised as a churchgoer targeted three churches in Indonesia's second largest city of Surabaya early Sunday, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens, police said.

The first attack struck a Sunday Mass at the Santa Maria Roman Catholic Church, killing four people, including the suspected bomber, police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told reporters at the scene. He said police officers were among a total of 38 wounded.

It was followed by a second explosion minutes later at the Christian Church of Diponegoro that killed two people. Another two died in a third attack at the city's Pantekosta Church, Mangera said.

The latest attacks in predominantly Muslim Indonesia came days after police ended a riot and hostage-taking at a detention center near Jakarta that left six officers and an inmate dead. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals in Bali in 2002 killed 202 people. 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.

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