A suicide bomb exploded outside a Surabaya police station around 11:50 am Monday in Indonesia. The bombing has so far killed seven people, and Australian tourists have been warned to stay in the country “at their own risk.”
Unfortunately, Indonesia has been the site of recent terrorist attacks. Just one day after 13 people were killed in horrific church attacks, a bomb was detonated at a police station sending people nearby hurling themselves to the ground. Two men were seen on closed-circuit TV footage riding up the station shortly before the deadly bomb was detonated. The full extent of the casualties is still unknown, according to The Daily Mail.
“Clearly, it’s a suicide bombing,” East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told a media briefing on Monday which the ABC Australia attended. “We can’t be open [about] all details yet because we are still identifying victims at the scene and the crime scene is being handled,” police stated.
The suicide bombing ripped through Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, shortly before noon on Monday, prompting a warning for thousands of Australians vacationing in Indonesia to “exercise a high degree of caution” and consider leaving. Staying in Indonesia would be at the Australians’ “own risk.” An estimated 10,000 Australians live in Bali year-round.
These upticks in mass killings are linked to a pro-ISIS Islamic terrorist group in the area, which makes it a dangerous vacation location for Australians. There has been an increase in these types of terrorist attacks and mass killings that coincide with the Muslim month of Ramadan in Indonesia and other places.
Police said at least four officers and six civilians were injured and authorities suspected the attack was carried out by Islamist extremists linked to Jemaah Ansurat Daulah, which was formed in 2015 by ISIS sympathizers. Jemaah Ansurat Daulah was designated a terrorist group by the United States government’s State Department in January 2017.
The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins on Tuesday, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advisory urged people to “pay close attention to your personal security at all times.” People were also warned to “exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including in Bali, Surabaya, and Jakarta, because of the high threat of terrorist attack,” the Department of Foreign Affairs reiterated on its Smart Traveller website on Monday.
“Australians are reminded of the heightened risk of further attacks in the lead-up to and during Ramadan (mid-May to mid-June 2018).” Indonesia is also the second most popular overseas holiday destination for Australians, after New Zealand, with more than 1.2 million Australians visiting its northern neighbor in 2016.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the attacks as an act of “barbarity” and expressed his condolences to Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. “Our heart goes out to all of the victims of those attacks and the people of Indonesia know that they have our utmost solidarity in the battle against terrorism,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday. “It almost beggar’s belief; the brutality, the barbarity, the inhumanity, the blasphemy of these terrorists,” Turnbull said.