Four children become orphans in Surabaya, Sidoarjo bombings

An East Java Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officer stands guard in front of the mortuary where bodies of victims and perpetrators of the suicide bomb attacks are held at Bhayangkara Ngagel Hospital in Surabaya, East Java. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - At least four children belonging to two of the three families behind the string of bombings in Surabaya and Sidoarjo, East Java, on Sunday (May 13) and Monday, became orphans after their parents were killed in the explosions.

In the blast at the Wonocolo low-cost apartments (Rusunawa) in Sidoarjo, AR and two of his younger siblings, FS, 11, and GA, 10, lost their father Anton Ferdiantono, mother Puspitasari and eldest brother HR, 17.

Anton apparently mishandled highly sensitive explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and triggered an explosion that instantly claimed the lives of Puspitasari and HR.

Anton died later after police officers gunned him down to prevent him from triggering another bomb.

Police believe that the TATP explosives were going to be used by Anton, who was later found to be a member of terror network Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD), to launch another attack in the city.

The youngest in Anton's family, GA, will have to undergo intensive medical treatment at the Bhayangkara Ngagel Hospital for burns.

Like AR, FS, and GA, who suddenly became orphans, Ais, 8, the daughter of alleged suicide bomber Tri Murtiono, 50, also lost parents and two brothers during the suicide attack that involved two motorcycles at Surabaya police headquarters on Monday.

Tri, his wife Tri Ernawati, 43, and their other sons, MDA, 16, and MDS, 14, died instantly in the motorcycle bombing.

Luckily, Ais survived the blast and was saved by a police officer who happened to be close to the blast site. She was rushed to the nearest hospital to receive treatment.

Local media reported that National Police chief General Tito Karnavian saw the Sidoarjo bombing orphans on Monday.

Gen Tito said it was the first time that terrorists in Indonesia had taken along children in their suicide bombings.

"In Syria, the Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria) has used children several times in their attacks," Gen Tito told reporters in the press conference. "But, this is the first time it happened in Indonesia."

East Java Police have reportedly asked for a helping hand from several psychiatrists to assist the orphaned children in dealing with their psychological trauma.

In the suicide bombings on three churches in Surabaya on Sunday, an entire family of six were killed.

The suicide bombers are identified as Dita Oepriyanto and wife Puji Kuswati, along with four children, YF, 18, FH, 16, FS, 12, and PR, 9.

Dita is known as the JAD leader of the Surabaya chapter.

At least 25 people died and 55 others were wounded in the bombings in Surabaya and Sidoarjo.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks in a statement issued by propaganda agency Amaq.

The group has also claimed responsibility for the riot at the National Police's Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Depok, West Java, which led to the deaths of five members of the police's elite counter-terrorism squad, Densus 88, and a 36-hour standoff between terror inmates and security forces.

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