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Indonesian suicide bomber wounds six, dozens arrested in Sumatra



Dozens of suspected militants have been rounded up after a suicide bomber killed himself and wounded six others in a police station attack in Indonesia. Around 45 suspects have been arrested since Wednesday’s bombing in Medan, Sumatra, while two bomb-makers were shot dead during a raid.

A National Police spokesman told reporters in Jakarta that the pair resisted arrest and tried to attack police with sharp weapons and an air gun. They had built the low-intensity bomb that the 24 year old attacker strapped to his body.

Authorities earlier thought the bomber was a “lone wolf” after the blast that wounded four police officers and two civilians.

Meanwhile, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II tightened security in 19 airports in the wake of similar incidents on November 13.

Indonesia is the the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, and has long struggled with Islamist militancy. Police stations remain frequent targets for militant attacks.

About 20 other suspects arrested since the bombing, including the bomber’s wife and their religious mentor who both played, what police describe as, “direct roles” in the attack and had links to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, an acknowledged Islamist terrorist organisation.

JAD is a local extremist group aligned with ISIS which has made previous attacks, including suicide bombings at several churches last year that killed a dozen parishioners.

“The wife together with her husband (the bomber) were known members of JAD. They also attended military camp training, and learned how to buy guns and sharp weapons,” according to the police spokesman.

Some residents in Medan protested plans to bury the bomber’s body there.

Last month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered beefed-up security after two JAD-linked militants stabbed his chief security minister.

Indonesia, a nation of more than 260 million, has significant numbers of religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, who have been targeted by radical Islamist groups amid concerns about rising intolerance.



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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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