Indonesia tightens security in 19 airports after Medan suicide bombing

Police officers inspect and stand guard at the scene of a suicide bombing at the police headquarters in Medan, on Nov 13, 2019.
Police officers inspect and stand guard at the scene of a suicide bombing at the police headquarters in Medan, on Nov 13, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II has tightened security at 19 airports following a suicide bombing that injured six people at the police headquarters in the city of Medan, in north Sumatra, on Wednesday morning (Nov 13).

Security at Medan's Kualanamu International Airport as well as 18 others managed by Angkasa Pura II, mostly in the western part of Indonesia, has been stepped up following Wednesday's attack.

The other airports that saw beefed-up security include Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport in Palembang.

"We will work to ensure that all airports under Angkasa Pura II management are safe from terrorist attacks and can continue operating normally to serve passengers and accommodate flights from all airlines," said Angkasa Pura II president director Muhammad Awaluddin in an official statement on Wednesday.

Mr Awaluddin said he instructed all airports' general managers to improve their security and vigilance by increasing random checks of passengers and their luggage.

Increased random checks are being carried out at two security checkpoints, one prior to passenger check-in and the other before entering the boarding lounge. Security measures have also been augmented with a walk-through metal detector and an X-ray area.

"Angkasa Pura II, along with all security forces from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police, will increase safeguards and will increase coordination with intelligence agencies," he said.

Increased random checks are also being performed on vehicles entering the airport's vicinity, he said.

Mr Awaluddin added that the incident did not disrupt any activities at airports under Angkasa Pura II supervision.

 

Police on Wednesday identified a 24-year-old man born in Medan as being responsible for the attack at the police headquarters.

The man, who was identified by his fingerprints, was named only by his initials RMN. Police said he was seen walking into the compound about 20 minutes before the attack happened and is believed to have acted alone.

Six people - four police officers, one police employee and one civilian - were hurt in the blast, which also damaged several vehicles.