Skip to main content

Members of police forensic team inspect the site of a bombing attack at the local police headquarters in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Police say a suicide bomber has blown himself up at a busy police station in Indonesia's third-largest city, injuring a number of people.

The Associated Press

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside police headquarters in Indonesia’s city of Medan on Wednesday, wounding six people, police said, just a month after an Islamist militant attacked a former security minister.

The motive for Wednesday’s attack was not immediately clear, but Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has suffered a resurgence in homegrown militancy in recent years, with some attacks targeting police.

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the perpetrator had died and four officers and two civilians, one of whom was a police employee, had been wounded by the blast in a car park at Medan police headquarters at 8:40 a.m. (0140 GMT).

Story continues below advertisement

“All pieces found at the scene will be tested by a forensic lab to determine the type of bomb,” Prasetyo told a news conference.

Indonesia’s anti-terrorism unit, Densus 88, was investigating whether it was a “lone wolf” attack or linked to a radical group like the Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has carried out a series of attacks in the country, he said.

Television broadcast images showed smoke and a shower of fragments coming from the parking lot area and people rushing out of buildings around the headquarters after the blast.

The suspected attacker, who was wearing a jacket and had backpack, had his bag checked before entering the car park near an area where people were queuing for clearance letters, said North Sumatra police spokesman Tatan Dirsan Atmaja.

The attack comes a month after a suspected Islamist stabbed and wounded Wiranto, Indonesia’s former security minister, after he had opened a university building in Pandeglang, west of Jakarta. Wiranto, who like many Indonesians uses just one name, has since been discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery.

The government scrambled to tighten its anti-terrorism laws after a series of suicide bombings linked to the JAD group killed more than 30 people in the city of Surabaya last year.

Foreseeing an increased threat of attacks from Indonesians who joined Islamic State and have begun returning from the Middle East, police have detained hundreds of suspects since the start of the year.

Story continues below advertisement

Police spokesman Prasetyo said a man arrested on Tuesday in Bekasi, near Jakarta. He said the man was believed to have fought in Syria and was a suspected JAD member, though he did not draw a direct link to the attack in Medan.

Stanislaus Riyanta, a terrorism expert, said the attack in Medan could be in retaliation for the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who killed himself last month during a U.S. commando raid on his compound in Syria.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies