Another bomb exploded in the city of Sidoarjo, East Java on Sunday night in what the police have disturbingly described as another family affair akin to the Surabaya church bombings earlier in the day which killed at least 14.
Police say a homemade bomb prematurely exploded at around 9 pm in an apartment unit belonging to a family that is believed to have built the explosive and have terrorist ties. Two members of the family, a mother identified as 47-year-old Puspita Sari and a 17-year-old child identified as RAR were believed to have been killed by the blast, while the father, 47-year-old Anton Febryanto, was killed by police upon arrival at the scene.
“At the time, the culprit, known as Anton, was holding a switch that was going to be used to detonate the bomb. Since we didn’t want to take any risks, we shot him,” said National Police Spokesperson M. Iqbal, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Three children, identified as AR (15), FP (11), and GHA (10) survived the blast and were taken to Bhayangkara East Java Police Hospital for treatment.
It’s not clear what triggered the bomb’s premature explosion. Police say they confiscated 3 more active bombs from the family’s apartment.
East Java Police Chief Machfud Arifin said he suspects that the family in the Sidoarjo explosion has ties to the family suspected to be behind the Surabaya bombings but that the specifics of their relationship are still being investigated.
On Sunday morning, a family of six were believed to have dispersed to detonate bombs at three different churches in Surabaya, killing at least 14 and injuring 42. Investigators believe that the family was not only linked to the Surabaya chapter of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, a terrorist network with links to Islamic State (IS), but that they were among 500 Indonesians recently returned from Syria who had gone to the Middle East to fight with IS and that they had spent some time with the terrorist group learning about terrorism tactics and bomb making.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings via its propaganda agency Amaq, calling them “martyrdom attacks”.