A sword-wielding attacker wounded four churchgoers in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta yesterday before being shot and wounded by police who said they could not immediately confirm whether it was a terrorism-related incident. "We can confirm the suspect has been detained and is being treated in hospital". "We need to dig out more details and question the perpetrator", said spokesman Yulianto.
Church security tried to prevent the attacker from entering the church, but he forced his way in, police officials told CNN Indonesia.Police opened fire on the attacker, who's been hospitalized, it said. Then, he burst into the church, allegedly swinging his sword in all directions.
A video of the incident posted on the social media platform WhatsApp showed the suspect dressed in black standing near the altar with his sword and a bag slung over a shoulder, as others appeared to order him to stand down. "I was scrambling to save my wife and children", he said.
According to reports, the suspect also damaged statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, as well as destroyed some books in the church.
Congregation member Andhi Cahyo said that a few minutes after the mass started, someone barged into the church with a bleeding head.
Indonesia is an officially secular country and has the world's largest population of Muslims, as well as sizeable minorities of Christians, Hindus, and those who adhere to traditional faiths.
Several children were injured after a man threw Molotov cocktails at a church during a Sunday service in 2016.
Muslim-majority Indonesia has seen a surge in religious tensions during recent years, with hardline Muslims calling for a nationwide implementation of Sharia law. "Whatever the reason for this is intolerant behavior", he told reporters.