June 4, 2019 / 5:59 AM / 2 months ago

Suspected Indonesian militant wounded in failed suicide bombing

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian militant suspected of being influenced by Islamic State was seriously wounded when he tried to blow himself up in a suicide attack outside a police station, authorities said on Tuesday.

The attack late on Monday comes as the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country prepares to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

“This was a suicide bomber,” said national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo. The suspect was in hospital after sustaining injuries to his right hand and abdomen.

No other casualties were reported when the 22-year-old man in Sukoharjo, in Central Java province, set off what police described as low-grade explosives.

“If he fully recovers, we will investigate further into his motive,” Prasetyo said, adding the suspect was found to have been exposed to the militant ideology of Islamic State.

Indonesia is grappling with a resurgence in militancy.

Counter-terrorism police have detained hundreds of suspected militants after a series of suicide bombings at churches and police stations in the city of Surabaya killed more than 30 people last year.

Hundreds of Indonesians are believed to have traveled to the Middle East to join Islamic State.

Authorities in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, where most people practice a moderate form of Islam, are worried about returnees spreading radical ideology.

Reporting by Nilufar Rizki; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel

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