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Jakarta bomber cites abuse of Rohingya

Small blast at Buddhist temple injures one

Jakarta bomber cites abuse of Rohingya

Indonesia's Minister of Religious Affairs, Suryadharma Ali

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

August 5, 2013

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A small bomb went off at a Buddhist temple in Jakarta yesterday, leaving one person with minor injuries to the hand.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked police to immediately reveal the motive of the attack on the Ekayana temple in Kebon Jeruk and capture the perpetrator.

Around 300 Buddhists had been inside the temple at the time, according to monk Arya Maitri Mahatera. He said CCTV footage showed a man wearing glasses and carrying a bag entering the temple at 6:53pm and place something on a shoe rack before praying.

After praying, the man left the temple by motorcycle. “Three minutes later, there was an explosion,” he said.

Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali said the perpetrator left a message saying: “We respond to the screams of Rohingya,” referring to the Muslim minority group of western Myanmar who have been subjected to a campaign of violence by Buddhist Rakhine.

“This incident is clearly not a solidarity action but a brutal one. One thing is for sure, Muslims and Buddhists have lived in harmony for a long time,” Ali said.

“We hope Myanmar can handle the problem happening there so that religious sentiments won’t emerge in other places.”

Separately, a terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail told that a small group was behind the explosion. The explosive device is known as “a tart cake” because it is small and easy to make.

“The bomb is used as ‘a gift’ … to tell people their message and about their existence. It’s not a new pattern,” he said, citing the 2010 bomb attacks in Solo, Central Java, as a comparable incident.

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