About 9% of Indonesia's 260 million people are Christians. Many of them are ethnic Chinese, who thus have not one but two strikes against them in the majority Muslim nation. There are a dozen fewer Christians in Surabaya today following three suicide bomb attacks on Christian churches, carried out by... you know who.
Oh, you don't know? National police chief Tito Karnavian has confirmed to AP that a family of six, included two girls aged 12 and 9, were responsible for the out deadly attacks on three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city. According to Chief Karnavian, the father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother, her face properly veiled by a niqab, took her pre-teen daughters along for the ride to Paradise. The family had returned to Indonesia from ISIS-controlled territory in Syria.
The first attack struck the Santa Maria Roman Catholic Church. Four people, including one or more bombers were killed there, with 41 people, including two cops, wounded. Blasts at the Christian Church of Diponegoro and the Surabaya Pantekosta Church followed minutes later. A civilian security guard described the woman carrying two bags who approached the Diponegoro church along with two girls. "At first officers blocked them in front of the churchyard, but the woman ignored and forced her way inside," said the witness. "Suddenly she hugged a civilian, then (the bomb) exploded."
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 Islamic militants.
A spokesthingy for the national police said his men fatally shot four suspected Islamic militants and arrested two others early Sunday in West Java. It wasn't clear if the shootings were connected with the church attacks. "They have trained in order to attack police," he said, identifying the militants as members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of Islamic extremist groups implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia over the past year. It pledges allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Walt's advice: If you're in the vicinity of a Christian church (anywhere in the world), and you see a woman (?) dressed like the one in the picture coming towards you and making like she wants to hug you, RUN!