14 injured in explosion outside church in central Indonesia

Makassar South Sulawesi Indonesia

However, as of 12.30 pm (western Indonesian time), Indonesian police had not yet confirmed the number of people killed in the incident that occurred at 10.20 am (central Indonesian time). The blast also hit several road users who were passing through the area.

The congregation had been inside the church on the island of Sulawesi at the time of the explosion, South Sulawesi police spokesman E. Zulpan told Reuters.

Amnesty International said the bombing showed "complete contempt" for human rights.

Police noted that attackers with ties to the JAD were responsible for suicide attacks in 2018 on churches and a police post that killed over 30 people in Indonesia's second largest city Surabaya.

Indonesian police have suspected that two people committed a suicide bombing outside a church in South Sulawesi province's city of Makassar in east Indonesia on Sunday morning, injuring at least 14 people.

Police said the father was the leader of a local affiliate of the Islamic State group known as Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.

While no deaths among the churchgoers have been reported, police say both attackers died in the blast.

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"I call on people to remain calm while worshipping because the state guarantees you can worship without fear", Widodo said.

Indonesia's anti-terrorism squad Densus 88 has intensified its efforts against terrorism since late previous year, following an attack that killed four members of a Christian family in a remote village in Central Sulawesi last November.

One eyewitness described hearing two "very strong" explosions and then seeing plumes of smoke at the scene.

"There were two people riding on a motorbike when the explosion happened at the main gate of the church".

Ten hours after the attack near Katedral Church, police were still unable to identify any suspect.

Churches have been targeted in the past by extremists in Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation. In recent years, however, a new threat has emerged in militants who fought with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and returned to Indonesia or those inspired by the group's attacks overseas.

Indonesia's worst ever terror attack was in Bali in 2002, when 202 people - mostly foreigners - were killed in an attack on a tourist nightlife district.

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