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Jakarta Post

Church activity back to normal after attack

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra   /   Tue, August 30, 2016   /  06:04 am
Church activity back to normal after attack Personnel from North Sumatra Police conduct a crime scene investigation at St. Yosep Catholic Church in Medan on Sunday, after a foiled bomb and axe attack during Mass. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)

Services at St. Yosep Catholic Church on Jl. Dr. Mansur in Medan, North Sumatra, returned to normal on Monday after police officers finished their scene-of-crime investigation following an attack on Sunday.

“The crime scene investigation has finished. The church has been cleared of all dangerous materials and activity is back to normal,” said Medan Police chief Corm. Mardiaz Kusin Dwihananto.

A man carrying an explosive device in a backpack caused a small explosion in the church on Sunday, injuring only himself.  A witness said the perpetrator then pulled an axe from his bag, whereupon he attempted to attack the priest, Rev. Albertus Pandiangan, in his pulpit. The congregation, however, managed to restrain him.

The investigation is being jointly implemented by personnel from the Medan Police and the National Police, said Mardiaz, adding that the investigators had checked everywhere in the church to make sure there was nothing of any danger in the building.

Police have named 18-year-old Ivan Armadi Hasugian, a suspect. The police believe Ivan to be an Islamic State (IS) movement supporter who took inspiration from a church attack in France last month in which two IS militants killed a priest with a knife.

Mardiaz said Ivan’s case dossier would be handed over to prosecutors later. (bbn)


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