Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug 29, 2016 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest suffered minor injuries after a man armed with a suicide bomb and an axe attacked at Sunday Mass in Indonesia this weekend.
A woman sitting next to the would-be suicide bomber at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Medan told the Jakarta Post that she noticed the man was fidgeting throughout Mass and unable to follow the liturgy. When Father Albertus Pandiangan began his homily, the woman said the main connected two cables, presumably to detonate the suicide bomb, causing a small explosion.
According to reports from The Guardian, local chief detective Nur Fallah said the explosion was “like a firecracker, but the firecracker didn’t explode, it only fumed.” Realizing the suicide bomb had failed, the attacker ran toward the priest armed with an axe and a knife. Parishioners were able to restrain him, and Fr. Pandiangan suffered only a minor injury to the left hand, according to authorities.
While the attacker reportedly carried a piece of paper with a hand-drawn Islamic State flag on it, the motive of the attack is still under investigation.
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Suhardi Alius told Jakarta Globe that authorities believe the suspect is only a “puppet” in the attack, considering his young age.
Christians have been the target of several attacks in the country, which has the largest Muslim majority population in the world. In addition, recent months have seen attacks around the world, many of them connected to ISIS sympathizers. Last month, an 84-year-old priest was killed by two gunmen while celebrating Mass in France. And on July 14, Bastille Day, a terrorist killed 84 people while plowing through crowds in Nice, France with a truck.