Toddler dies after Molotov cocktail attack on a church
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A toddler died Monday, November 14, after being injured in a Molotov cocktail attack on an Indonesian church, police said, the latest assault on a religious minority in the Muslim-majority country.
Two-year-old Intan Olivia Marbun was among 4 small children hurt when an attacker wearing a T-shirt with the word "jihad" on it threw explosives at the church on Borneo island Sunday from a motorbike.
The youngsters, aged between 2 and 4, had been playing in the car park of the church in the city of Samarinda at the time of the attack.
Local police spokesman Fajar Setiawan told AFP that Marbun suffered severe burn injuries, adding: "Unfortunately the doctors could not save the victim... she died early this morning."
The other children suffered less serious injuries and were still being treated in hospital, said the spokesman.
"We hope they can come home soon," said Setiawan.
Police have arrested the suspected attacker, a 32-year-old man who was previously jailed over his involvement in a parcel bomb plot in 2011 targeting figures including a moderate Muslim cleric and the counter-terror chief.
Indonesia has the world's biggest Muslim population, but most practice a moderate form of Islam and the country is also home to substantial populations of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.
However there has been an increasing number of attacks on religious minorities in recent years by Muslim hardliners.
Sunday's attack was the latest on a church in recent months.
In August, an Indonesian teenager who was obsessed with the Islamic State (IS) group stabbed a priest in a church and tried to detonate a homemade bomb.
The rise of IS has also fanned the flames of extremism in a country that has long struggled with militancy, with hundreds of Indonesians heading to fight with the jihadists in the Middle East.
A suicide bombing and gun attack in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in January, claimed by IS, killed 4 attackers and 4 civilians. – Rappler.com