After suicide bombings, Indonesia faces attack with samurai swords

Four men armed with samurai swords were shot dead after they attacked a police headquarters and killed one officer and wounded two others, Indonesian authorities said on Wednesday.

Another attacker who tried to flee was arrested. The attack comes days after a series of bomb blasts claimed by Islamic State hit three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second biggest city.

Wednesday’s attack happened in Pekanbaru on the island of Sumatra when a group rammed their minivan into a gate at the station and attacked officers with samurai swords.

Authorities are concerned as the attacks have taken place ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan starting from Thursday.

Indonesia will be holding Asian Games in three months. Bali will be hosting an IMF-World Bank meeting in October. Some 200 people were killed in bombings in Bali in 2002 that targeted mostly foreign tourists.

Last Sunday, a family of six including two minor girls staged suicide bombings at three churches during morning mass in Surabaya, killing 13. All six bombers were killed, including the mother, Indonesia’s first known female suicide bomber.

The next day, members of another family blew themselves up at a police station in the city, wounding 10.

The coordinated church attacks show local extremist groups are becoming more proficient. More such attacks are feared as hundreds of Indonesians who went to Syria to fight for Islamic State have returned home.

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