Suicide motorcycle bomb strikes Indonesia police station


A suicide bomber struck a police station in Indonesia on Tuesday, killing himself and injuring an officer, police said.

The motorcyclist detonated his explosives when he was approached by the officer at the Surakarta city police department in Central Java, national police said. Photos released by the police showed the attacker lying apparently lifeless near his mangled motorcycle in the police station compound.

The attack came on the eve of Eid al-Fitr Muslim festival, the biggest holiday in Indonesia marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

"We call on officers on duty to remain on alert during this long holiday," the police said.  

Surakarta, also known as Solo, is known as a hotbed of Islamist militancy. It is home to the Al-Mukmin boarding school, several of whose graduates have been implicated in past militant attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.  

The school's founder, radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, is serving a 15-year prison term for supporting a militant training camp.  President Joko Widodo, who is from Solo and once served as the city's mayor, urged people to remain calm and go about their business as usual.  

"This is the last day of fasting and we must remain steadfast and not be afraid," Joko said. "Violence in the name of anything cannot be justified and must be condemned," he said.  

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, has suffered several deadly attacks blamed on Islamist militants since the early 2000s.    (dpa)

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