Two Indonesia policemen stabbed in second such militant attack in a week

Photo of Masjid Falatehan.
Photo of Masjid Falatehan.PHOTO: ST READER

JAKARTA - Two Indonesian policemen were injured after a militant attacked them with a bayonet during Friday evening prayers at a mosque near the police headquarters in South Jakarta.

The assailant struck at about 7.40pm local time on Friday (June 30) at Masjid Falatehan where many officers had gathered to pray.

He brandished the knife and rushed towards the officers shouting “Allahu Akbar”, which means God is great in Arabic.  

He was shot and killed during the assault, while the two police officers were rushed to hospital, said national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto.

Inspector-General Setyo said Friday's incident was similar to the attack on by two miltants, who stabbed and killed a policeman last Sunday after infiltrating a police station in Medan, North Sumatra.

One of the suspects was said to have fought in the Middle East alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

 

The Medan attack took place at 3am, just as millions of Indonesians were about to celebrate Idul Fitri and mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

It was also followed by the arrest of a man for lurking in the compound of the Central Java Police headquarters at about 1am on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old suspect from Blitar regency in East Java was carrying a backpack containing at least two knives, used syringes and a bunch of rusty nails.

Indonesian police are often being targeted by Muslim militants because they arrest, and sometimes kill mujahideen, or holy warriors.

The police has been on high alert ever since, mobilising thousands of officers to safeguard the country as millions of Muslims mark the end of the Ramadan last weekend.

A suicide bombing at a police station in Solo on the eve of Idul Fitri last year had also raised concern that terrorists were ready to strike during the Muslim fasting month and Idul Fitri holidays.

Indonesia has been hit by a series of terrorist attacks since four militants from the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) mounted a strike in Jakarta on Jan 14 last year.

The JAD is a local terror group that has pledged allegiance to ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for that attack as well as the recent suicide bombing in Kampung Melayu which killed three policemen.

This latest attack is the tenth incident this year which saw terrorists attack by stabbing police officers or random victims in public, beginning with the car-and-knife rampage in London on March 22.

It was followed by similar incidents in Paris, Jerusalem, among other locations, as well as a second attack in Britain where three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a stabbing spree.