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Egypt strongly condemns terrorist attacks on Indonesia churches

Egypt strongly condemns terrorist attacks on Indonesia churches”

Five suicide bombers - including a woman with children - targeted Sunday Mass congregations in three churches in Indonesia's second largest city, Surabaya, killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens in what police say is one of the worst attacks on the Christian minority.

Police bomb experts hurried to disarm still active explosives at Surabaya's Pentacostal Church, reported Agence France Presse.

The St. Maria explosion killed four people and two people were killed at each of the other two churches, the spokesman said.

"Nine people are dead and 40 are in hospital", East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told reporters, adding that two police officers were among the injured.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, has seen a recent resurgence in home grown militancy inspired in part by Islamic State.

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Police only gave details of the attack on Santa Maria catholic church.

Another two people died in a third attack at the city's Pantekosta Church, Mr Mangera said.

Previous incidents have included a 2004 suicide auto bomb that killed 10 outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, twin bomb blasts that killed 22 in a market in the Central Sulawesi town of Tentena, and a suicide bombing in 2005 that killed 20 in Bali.

Islamic State claimed responsibility after Indonesia launched a crackdown on militants following bombings by radical is Bali in 2002 killed 202 people.

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Some of the suicide bombers were on motorcycles, while one of the attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber disguised as a churchgoer.

"We must leave it completely to the government to handle", the head of the Indonesian Communion of Churches said in a statement on Sunday quoted by The Jakarta Post.

Almost 90 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people are Muslim, but there are significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

Hundreds of Indonesians have flocked to fight with IS, sparking fears that extremist outfits could get a new lease on life.

Wawan Purwanto also told local journalists that the assaults could be linked to a deadly hostage incident at a jail near Jakarta last week that has also involved alleged Islamist militants.

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It was the first major attack in Jakarta since Jemaah Islamiyah's 2009 simultaneous attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, which left seven people dead.



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