A letter reading “We heard Rohingya’s screams,” was found inside one of the bomb packages, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali
The police questioned eight witnesses Monday morning as Indonesian officials pushed for the swift arrest of terrorists accused of damaging “the peaceful spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.” Investigators were searching for those involved in the bombing on Monday morning, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said
Security cameras at the Ekayana Buddhist Center captured footage of an unidentified man dropping off two packages containing low-grade bombs moments before Sunday night’s explosion, a head monk at the West Jakarta temple said.
The man entered the Duri Kepa temple during a crowded sermon Sunday night, placing one bomb near a shoe rack and another behind a statue of the Maitreya Buddha before leaving, Bhikku Arya Maitri Mahatera said after watching the center’s closed-circuit security camera footage.
“The young man entered the temple and acted like any other member of the congregation,” Arya said.
Moments later a low-intensity bomb exploded near the center’s doors, injuring three people in a terrorist attack reportedly stemming from anger over anti-Muslim violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
“When the blast happened, people were praying and they were very calm because they just thought it was a firecracker,” Arya said.
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said the perpetrators of Sunday’s bombing of Ekayana Buddhist Vihara in West Jakarta did not respect the sanctity of the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan and could therefore be considered “accursed and barbaric”.
“The faithful should not be inflamed by the incident,” Suryadharma told journalists in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by Antara news agency.
The minister said it was hoped that the bombing would not disrupt relations between Muslims and Buddhists.
“I urge all religious followers not to be provoked by the incident,” said Suryadharma.
The minister visited the Buddhist temple shortly after the attack on Sunday evening. He stayed at the location for around 30 minutes to inspect parts of the building damaged in the attack. The temple gate was closed immediately after the religious affairs minister left the location
Police increased security in and around the temple following the blasts.
A loud boom was heard at Ekayana Vihara, which is located in a residential compound in Duri Kepa, West Jakarta, at around 8 p.m. local time on Sunday. (ebf)