Indonesia police shoot suspected militant after station attack

18 Aug 2019 / 22:07 H.

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities said Sunday they shot and arrested a suspected militant who attacked police officers at a station in the country’s second-biggest city.

The incident in Surabaya on Saturday — Indonesia’s independence day — came as the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation is on high alert for attacks by local groups sympathetic to the Islamic State.

A 30-year-old man walked into the station and said that he wanted to make a report, according to police.

“Then he suddenly took out a sickle and started slashing the officer on duty,“ East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told AFP on Sunday.

The officer, who sustained wounds to his head, face and hand, was recovering in hospital while another who intervened was lightly injured, police said.

The wounded suspect was an “IS sympathiser”, they added.

“We haven’t determined which group he may be affiliated with,“ Mangera said.

“He just said he wanted to commit jihad.”

A surge in Islamist-inspired attacks in the past decade has dented Indonesia’s reputation for religious tolerance.

Last year, Surabaya was rocked by a wave of suicide bombings carried out by families — including a nine and 12-year-old girl — who attacked several churches, killing a dozen congregants.

Indonesia, which has detained hundreds under tougher anti-terror laws, is also grappling with how to reintegrate returning IS jihadists and their relatives as the extremist group’s caliphate lies in ruins. — AFP

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