An Indonesian policeman stands guard by armored vehicles at a security post at North Sumatra's police headquarters in Medan city on June 25, after two attackers entered and stabbed a police officer. (Photo byBudiarto Arif/AFP)
Indonesian Christians have called for a united front against terrorism after a deadly attack by suspected Islamic State (IS) linked gunmen in North Sumatra while Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr.
Two terrorists reportedly attacked a checkpoint outside the North Sumatra Police headquarters in Medan on June 25 killing a policeman.
Police spokesman, Setyo Wasisto, said the attackers jumped over a fence then stabbed the policeman in the neck, chest and hand.
Other officers shot dead one of the attackers and arrested the other.
Christopher Nugroho, general secretary of Catholic Youth called the attack "barbaric and inhuman" coming as it did during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
"We will offer our condolences to the victims and their families," he said.
He called on communities to unite to fight terrorism threats and growing religious intolerance.
Reverend Karo Sekali, secretary of Religious Harmony Forum in Medan also expressed sadness over the attack.
"We should safeguard the unity of the nation and state, and not violate the norms of religion and law," he said.
Police said they found an IS banner and a picture of Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, the IS leader in the house of one of the perpetrators.
"There were also books and compact disks about IS," Wasisto said.
The attack was probably in response to a call by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian who has recruited many Indonesians to join IS and is now believed to be living in Syria.
"Bahrun Naim has told IS sympathizers that 'If you do not have a bomb, use any weapon to attack.' That's what happened in Medan," said Wasisto.
The attack came days after police announced the results of a terror crackdown across the country over the course of the year.
Rikwanto, head of the National Police's public information bureau said on June 22, that almost 100 people have been arrested on terror-linked charges.
Most arrests were made following a suicide bombing at a bus station in the Jakarta on May 24, which killed three police officers.
The June 25 attack has compounded fears about rising militancy in Indonesia.
There are fears across Southeast Asia that as IS loses ground in the Middle East, it will seek footholds elsewhere.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.