Jakarta: Suicide bombers who carried out deadly attacks on three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city on Sunday were a family of six that included two young children, police said, as the world’s most populous Muslim nation recoiled in horror at one of the worst attacks on its Christian minority.
At least seven people plus the six bombers died in the attacks in Surabaya, according to police. At least 41 people were injured in the attacks, which Indonesia’s president condemned as “barbaric.”
The bombings were the worst to target churches in Indonesia since a series of attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000 killed 15 people and wounded nearly 100. Religious minorities in Indonesia, especially Christians, have been repeatedly targeted by militants.
National police chief Tito Karnavian said that the father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother was with daughters aged 12 and 9 for her attack.
Karnavian said the family had returned to Indonesia from Syria, where until recently the Islamic State group controlled significant territory.
The extremist group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. It didn’t mention anything about families or children taking part in the attack, and said there were only three attackers. NBC News could not verify the claim.