Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Indonesians shaken by suicide bombing in Solo incident

The police took the body bag Nur Rohman, a suicide bomber in Mapolresta Solo, Central Java, yesterday, Tuesday 5th July 16 (ANTARA/Maulana Surya)


Indonesians were shaken early Tuesday by an incident of suicide bombing in Solo, Central Java, that left one person dead and another wounded. A motorcyclist, who entered the Solo city police resort station at around 07.30am after defying a police officers signal to stop, blew himself up when he was chased by the officer. The officer was also wounded in the incident.

The perpetrator died on the scene while the wounded officer was taken to a hospital for treatment, the Central Java police chief Inspector General Condro Kirono explained when contacted about the incident.

Solo is the home town of President Joko Widodo who was in Padang, West Sumatra, when the incident happened.

Following the incident, President Jokowi, as he is also called, appealed to the people in the country to remain calm and not be afraid.

He confirmed that notwithstanding the incident, his plan to visit Solo was very much on and he will also visit the neighboring town of Yogyakarta after attending Eid al-Fitr prayers with local people in Padang.

"I have called and security personnel have been able to take control of the situation. We hope people would remain calm while being alert because tomorrow, we will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr," he assured at a press conference at Hotel Grand Inna Muara, Padang, after the incident.

He revealed that he has ordered the national police chief, General Badrodin Haiti, to thoroughly investigate the network behind the suicide bomber.

The President asked the police to chase and arrest members of the network, adding that he would continue to coordinate with the police to find the mastermind behind the incident.

The head of the public relations division of the National Police, Brigadier General Agus Rianto, pointed out that as of now, the police did not know the network or the group the bomber belonged to.

He said investigation was still underway.

Due to the incident, the police have heightened security at their stations.

The West Java regional police command is strengthening its presence in the field as well as at its command headquarters in anticipation of terror threats, the commands spokesman, Senior Commissioner Yusri Yunus, stated.

"First of all, we want to ensure the personal security of the members and then the command stations, such as police resort and sector stations," he added.

He underlined that terror threats were aimed at police institutions and all police personnel must increase their level of alertness.

"The target is the police. We are the target," he reiterated.

The Yogyakarta police command in Central Java has also beefed up security following the bombing incident in Solo.

"We have already had security measures in place but after the incident in Surakarta (Solo), these would be stepped up," the commands spokesman, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Anny Pudjiastuti, assured.

Besides the headquarters, in line with the order of the Yogyakarta police chief, security at public places such as shopping malls, railway stations, bus terminals and tourist destinations would also be stepped up, she informed.

As it is, the security has been tight in connection with the Eid al-Fitr holiday since June 30, marked by the implementation of Radmanya Progo 2016 Operation, she underscored.

She appealed to the community members to report to the police if they saw anything suspicious in their neighborhoods.

"We appeal to the people to take part in the security effort by also staying alert and report any suspicious person or activity to us," she urged.

She counseled, however, that people need not be restless and must remain calm. "They need not worry too much. The Yogyakarta police chief has assured that security situation in the city would remain conducive," she noted.

The Denpasar city police resort on the island of Bali increased security measures by putting in place a one gate security system, checking every vehicle entering the station, the resorts head of sub-division of public relations, Adjunct Commissioner Sugriwo said.

He said personnel checking incoming vehicles were now armed with rifles and also wore bullet-proof vests in anticipation of terrorist attacks.

Bali has experienced several bombing attacks by terrorists, with the biggest one in 2002 killing more than 200 people, most of whom were foreign tourists.

Another incident that has shaken Indonesians this week was the bombing in the holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Three bombing incidents happened in Saudi Arabia on Monday evening, with two others recorded in Jeddah and Qatif.

Most of the Indonesian people are Muslim and many of them have conducted hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and certainly visited Medina. So news about the incident in the holy city has certainly startled many of them.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also expressed concern over the bombing in Medina, the second holiest city in Islam that houses the Prophets Mosque, terming it an intolerable incident.

"On behalf of the people of Indonesia, I offer our deep condolences to the families of victims and the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he said in Padang, West Sumatra.

He said Indonesia is against any kind of violence. "We once again reject any kind of violent action, done for whatever reasons," he said.

The news came when Muslims across Indonesia are entering the final day of fasting and preparing for the Eid al-Fitri festival on Wednesday.

President Jokowi also referred to a number of recent incidents of violence that have happened in countries such as Turkey, Bangladesh and Baghdad, saying all such actions cannot be tolerated.


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