20 injured in suicide attack targeting Palm Sunday Mass in Indonesia

Police are trying to identify two attackers on a motorbike after the blast outside the Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar.

By Yusuf Wahil and Niniek Karmini, Associated Press *

Police officers inspect the scene after a suicide bombing outside a church in Makassar, Indonesia (Masyudi S Firmansyah/AP)

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island during a Palm Sunday Mass, wounding at least 20 people, police said.

A video obtained by the Associated Press showed a burning motorbike at the gates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province.

The attack came as Indonesia was on high alert following the arrest of Aris Sumarsono, known as Zulkarnaen, the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, in December.

Wilhelmus Tulak, a Catholic priest who had been leading the Mass when the bomb exploded at about 10.30am, told reporters that a loud bang shocked his congregation, who had just finished the Sunday service marking the beginning of the Holy Week before Easter.

The first batch of churchgoers were walking out of the church while another group was coming in when the blast happened, he said.

He said security guards had suspected two motorists who wanted to enter the church and confronted them.

One then detonated his explosives and died near the gate. The injured included four guards and several churchgoers.

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