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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Indonesian Police Station Attacked By Suicide Bomber Who Leaves Note Condemning New Criminal Code

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An Indonesian police station was attacked with a suicide bomb blast. A suicide bomber, also possessing a knife, set off a device immediately after entering a police station in West Java, that killed a police officer and wounded several others, said Indonesian authorities.

Astana Anyar police office was attacked around 8:20am local time (01:20 GMT) during roll call in the provincial capital city of Bandung.

Suspect leaves note 

The attack was carried out by a suspected Islamist militant who was angered by Indonesia’s new criminal code. A note was attached to his bike which read the message condemning the new criminal code as “an infidel product,” West Java police chief Suntana said.

Suntana in a news conference said that the attacker, who is identified as Agus Sujatno, was freed in late 2021 and investigators had found many documents protesting the country’s controversial new criminal code from the crime scene.

He said, “We found dozens of papers protesting the newly ratified criminal code.” 

Though the parliament on Tuesday had changed sharia-based provisions in the new criminal code, staunch supporters of Islam could have raged over other articles that could be used to attack the propagation of extremist ideologies, say analysts.

” … a man trespassed while wielding a sharp weapon, he was trying to get through to the police doing the roll call,” Bandung police chief Aswin Sipayung told Indonesia’s Kompas TV.

In conjunction with Indonesia’s counterterrorism unit, Bandung police are looking into the event, according to Ahmad Ramadhan, chief of the National Police’s public information division.

It may be that the ISIL-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group was behind the attack, Ibnu Suhendra of Indonesia’s counterterrorism agency, BNPT told a local news channel.

After continuous bombings at Surabaya’s churches, JAD was banned in 2018. Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city. The terrorist organization also executed a deadly attack in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in 2016.

The attack that took place on Wednesday wounded eight people, which included one civilian, Ibrahim Tompo, a spokesperson for the West Java police, told reporters on a local news channel.

A video from an Indonesian broadcaster showed destruction in the police station as some debris came down from the building on the ground and smoke billowed from the station.

In the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, hardliners have attacked churches, police stations, and other locations, though their frequency has decreased recently.

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