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Indonesian police arrest 53 over cathedral bombing

Police claim suspects were part of a large network that supported suicide bombers in the Palm Sunday attack

Indonesian police arrest 53 over cathedral bombing

The destroyed motorbike of the suicide bombers at the main gate of Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province on Palm Sunday. (Photo supplied)

Indonesian police have arrested 53 people in connection with a bomb attack on a Catholic cathedral in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province, nearly two months ago.

South Sulawesi police spokesman E. Zulpan said on May 18 that 46 men and seven women have been detained as suspects for their roles in the attack on the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral on Palm Sunday.

A newly married couple belonging to the Islamic State-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) network carried out the March 28 attack, killing themselves and leaving at least 21 people injured, according to police.

The dozens of arrests in Makassar, several nearby districts and locations in Central Sulawesi province were carried out over the last few weeks by the police anti-terror squad Densus 88.

They were part of a crackdown on the support network that helped stage the attack, Zulpan said without giving further details about the specific offenses the suspects are thought to have committed.

According to him, some could face up to 20 years in jail under Indonesia’s anti-terrorism laws.

The victims were not only my parishioners but people. This is all about humanity

Father Wilhelmus Tulak, parish priest of the cathedral church, said he appreciated police efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice and that those responsible will be punished. 

“Let police carry out a proper investigation. Let them enforce the law where it is due. The victims were not only my parishioners but people. This is all about humanity,” he told UCA News.

“We all never want such a thing to happen again.” 

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