11/13/2016, 13.14
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Bomb attack on Samarinda church leaves four injured

by Mathias Hariyadi

A child among the wounded. AsiaNews sources: the author was stopped by the crowd and arrested. A strategy of tension that finds its roots in a blasphemy accusation against governor of Jakarta. The real goal: to topple President Joko Widodo.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A homemade bomb exploded in front of the church in Oikumene Sengkotek (Samarinda), in the East Kalimantan province. Four people, including a child, were injured and there was damage to motorcycles parked there. It  is the first time that such an incident of this nature has taken place in the provincial capital of East Kalimantan.

The police chief General Safarudin, confirming the incident, spoke of Molotov cocktail thrown by persons unknown, at 10.30 local (30.09 Jakarta time).

A local source informed AsiaNews that some people present at the scene said that the author was stopped and detained by the crowd after attempting to escape by jumping into the nearby river.

The motive for the attack is unknown. The author is a resident of Bogor, in West Java province.

The political situation

It is likely that the attack is the result of the tension clouding Jakarta. Society is divided in two. One part believe the accusations of "blasphemy" made against the Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian. This part of society would include radical Muslims and other groups, including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

The other camp defends Ahok. These include academics, Muslim religious, the two most numerous Islamic organizations in the country - the Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah - and other civil society groups. These state that Ahok was targeted on purpose by some radical fringe, manipulating an apparent case of "religious blasphemy" to destabilize the administration of President Joko Widodo.

Radical groups staged demonstrations and clashes last November 4 and are preparing another for November 25 next. Their design is to force Widodo to resign after organizing widespread chaos. A similar thing happened in 1998, when a kind of "civil war" broke out between different sectors of society, forcing then-President Suharto from power.

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