Two attackers blew themselves up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral during a Palm Sunday mass on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, wounding at least 20 people, police said.

Iran Press/Asia: At least 20 people were wounded in the attack and had been admitted to hospitals for treatment, said Mohammad Mahfud, the coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs.

“The perpetrators of terrorist groups behind this attack will continue to be pursued,” Mahfud said.

Later, Police said both attackers were killed instantly, and evidence collected at the scene indicated one of the two was a woman. The wounded included four guards and several churchgoers.

Indonesia’s National Police spokesperson Argo Yuwono said police were still trying to identify the two attackers on the motorbike and whether they were linked to a local affiliate of the banned Jemaah Islamiyah network or were acting independently.

The attack a week before Easter in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation came as the country was on high alert following December’s arrest of the Southeast Asian militant group leader, Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been designated a terror group by many nations.

Indonesia has been battling militants since bombings on Bali's resort island in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Attacks aimed at foreigners have been largely replaced in recent years by smaller, less deadly strikes targeting the government, police, and anti-terrorism forces and people militants consider as infidels.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo condemned Sunday’s attack and said it has nothing to do with any religion as all religions wouldn't tolerate terrorism.

“I call on people to remain calm while worshipping because the state guarantees you can worship without fear,” Widodo said in a televised address.

Indonesia’s last major attack was in May 2018, when two families carried out a series of suicide bombings on churches in the second-largest city of Surabaya, killing a dozen people, including two young girls whose parents had involved them in one of the attacks.

Police said the father was the local affiliate leader of the ISIS group known as Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.


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