Indonesian mobile brigade policemen stand outside a prison in Depok, West Java where prisoners clashed with police on May 10. Five Indonesian police officers and a prisoner were killed. (Photo by Adek Berry/AFP)
A Catholic parish was forced to cancel Ascension Day Masses on May 10 after five officers and one prisoner were killed a day earlier during a riot at a high-security police detention center for terror suspects in Indonesia.
Violence erupted at the Mako Brimob detention facility in Depok on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta on May 9.
A police spokesman said the riot began when prisoners managed to break out of their cells and attacked police officers. Some 155 terror suspects were being held at the center at the time of the riot.
"The policemen died from multiple stab wounds and having their throats cut," National Police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.
According to media reports, so-called Islamic State claimed it was behind the riot after the Amaq News Agency — an IS affiliate — spread grisly picture of the incident on the internet.
However, Iqbal dismissed the claim, saying the riot was triggered by a dispute over food.
He said some prisoners attempted to seize weapons from the guards and from a room where weapons seized as evidence were stored.
As a result of the unrest, the pastoral council of St. Thomas Parish of Kelapa Dua, which is located near the prison decided to close the church and cancel Ascension Day Masses for security reasons.
"All activities that require church attendance are postponed until further notice. We advise all parishioners to attend the Eucharist in other churches," the council said in a statement.
An outpouring of sympathy has also taken place for the police officers who died with flowers and messages of condolences sent to the detention center.
A vigil was to be held at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on May 10.
Bishop Ignatius Suharyo, head of the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia, expressed sympathy for those that died.
"We are deeply saddened and will pray for the dead policeman."
The riot took place took place just five days after police arrested three suspected terrorists in Bogor, also in West Java, on May 4.