Newlyweds identified as Indonesian Palm Sunday church service suicide bomb attackers

A newly married couple with suspected militant links have been identified as the attackers who carried out a suicide bombing outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Indonesia.

The newlyweds are suspected to have used a pressure cooker to blow themselves up during a Palm Sunday mass in Makassar, the capital of the South Sulawesi province.

Sunday’s attack left 20 people, including four church guards injured, and broke windows at the church and nearby buildings.

The attackers detonated their devices when they were confronted by guards outside the church.

The pressure cooker bombs contained high explosive materials and nails to increase harm to victims, said Makassar city police chief Witnu Urip Laksana

The couple married six months ago, and police are currently conducting investigations at their house.

They have not been named by police, but neighbours said they were between 23 and 26 years old.

One of the attackers was believed to have links to a 2019 suicide attack that killed 23 people at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in the Philippine province of Sulu, Indonesian national police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo said.

The couple are thought to have been members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and carried out a series of suicide bombings in Indonesia.

This included the 2016 Starbucks attack in Jakarta, which killed four civilians and four militants, an attack on a bus terminal in the capital that killed three police officers, and an attack on a church in Kalimantan that killed a two-year-old girl a year later.

Mr Prabowo said police arrested four suspected militants believed to have links with the attackers in a raid in Bima, a city on Sumbawa island in West Nusa Tenggara province, on Sunday.

The attack a week before Easter in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation came as the country was on high alert following December’s arrest of the leader of militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

President Joko Widodo condemned Sunday’s attack and said it has nothing to do with any religion.

He said that officials will “thoroughly investigate the networks of the perpetrators and hunt them to the roots”.

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