Video: Man assaults praying woman with wooden block in theft attempt at Indonesian mosque

A man assaulting a praying woman at a mosque in the city of Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Photo: Video screengrab from Youtube

A man in the East Kalimantan capital of Samarinda is wanted by police after he assaulted a woman praying in a mosque, video footage of which has gone viral.

On Friday afternoon, a 20-year-old college student named Ayu Ningrum went to pray at Samarinda’s Al Istiqomah mosque. CCTV footage shows a man sneaking up from behind Ayu, who was in the middle of praying, and using a wooden block to land a heavy blow to the back of her head, knocking her down.

It appears the assailant was about to reach for Ayu’s belongings, which she had placed on the floor next to her during prayer, before changing his mind and hitting her with the wooden block in the face as she was trying to get up.

Then the video shows the assailant running out of the mosque without taking any of Ayu’s belongings while Ayu looks disoriented as she struggles to stand up after the attack. She reportedly suffered minor injuries from the blows she took and, worryingly, nerve damage to her left eye.

The Samarinda Police identified the assailant as a 45-year-old resident of nearby Kutai Kartanegara regency, identified by his initials MJ, who had been sleeping in the mosque for three days before the incident while he was traveling through the city.

“We know his identity. It’s best that he turns himself in. He is dangerous,” Samarinda Police Chief Vendra Riviyanto said, as quoted by Liputan 6.

Vendra said MJ is currently on the run after having borrowed a motorcycle from his neighbor.

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