Indonesia police shoot man after 'sharp weapon' used in attack

Arturo Kim
May 16, 2018

Four samurai sword-wielding men were shot dead by Indonesian police on Wednesday after they attacked a police headquarters on the island of Sumatra.

The attackers targeted officers after ramming a minivan into a gate at the police headquarters in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau province, local media said on Wednesday.

The National Police's elite antiterrorism squad, Detachment 88, has captured several suspected terrorists in East Java, North Sumatra and South Sumatra following the incidents in Surabaya and Sidoarjo.

A police spokesman in Riau said they had not identified the perpetrators yet or determined their motive. Police found the van not far from the location of the attack and searched it for possible explosive materials.

He said the men had driven their auto into the police yard before getting out to stage the attack.

Indonesia - which is set to host the Asian Games in just three months and an IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali in October - has long struggled with Islamist militancy, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed over 200 people - mostly foreign tourists - in the country's worst-ever terror attack.

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Police have been frequent targets of mostly low-level attacks by local militants, including a 2017 suicide bombing at a bus station in Jakarta that killed three police officers.

The next day, militants attacked Surabaya city police headquarters.

During the assault, the militants also wounded two police officers and hurt two journalists, according to him.

Indonesia is still reeling from the shock of a series of suicide bombings in recent days.

On Monday, a suicide bomb attack outside a police building, carried out by one family and claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, killed at least 10 people.

The families have been linked to the local chapter of Indonesian extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which police said was behind the attacks.

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