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Catholic church bombed in Indonesia on first day of Easter 

Fourteen people have been seriously wounded in what is being described as a terrorist attack on Catholic church in Indonesia. 

The attack, which national police say was carried out by two people, took place as Catholics gathered in the church in the Indonesian city of Makassar for Palm Sunday services to mark the first day of Easter services.

The head of Indonesia’s National Counter-terrorism Agency,  Boy Rafli Amar, said  the attack was an act of terrorism.

Previously, police held the Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group responsible for suicide attacks in 2018 on churches and a police post in the city of Surabaya, when more than 30 people were killed.

Father Wilhemus Tulak, a priest at the church, told local media that the bomber attempted to enter the church grounds on a motorbike, but was stopped by a security guard, who was subsequently believed to be injured in the blast.

“There were two people riding on a motorbike when the explosion happened at the main gate of the church – the perpetrators were trying to enter the compound,” National Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

A destroyed motorbike and body parts were at the scene, but they had yet to be identified, local police said.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country with a substantial Christian minority.

“Whatever the motive is, this act isn’t justified by any religion because it harms not just one person but others, too,” Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister, said.

Gomar Gultom, head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, described the attack as a “cruel incident” as Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday.

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