JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Police and government officials on Monday condemned an attack on a Buddhist temple in Indonesia’s capital after a small bomb detonated as devotees inside prayed, injuring one person. Two other devices failed to go off.
The explosion happened Sunday night at the Ekayana Grha Buddhist temple in West Jakarta. The blast went off near the front door of the building, slightly damaging the structure, chief of National Police Detective Lt. Gen. Sutarman told reporters at the scene.
Another bomb placed near the back door emitted smoke, but did not go off and a third device placed inside the temple also failed to go off, added Sutarman, who like many Indonesians, uses a single name. Police were investigating.
“Now, the terrorists may have shifted their target from (Christian) churches to (Buddhist) temples,” Sutarman said. “This is possibly triggered by the sectarian conflict in Myanmar.”
Muslim militants in Indonesia angered over sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar have threatened to attack Buddhist temples here. In May, two men were arrested with low explosives in a backpack as part of an alleged plot to bomb the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta.
The incident occurred days ahead of festivities planned to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and most people practice a moderate form of the religion.
Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, condemned the attack, and called for increased vigilance against any sign of terrorism.
“Security authorities have been ordered to search and capture the perpetrators who have damaged the peaceful environment of the fasting month,” Suyanto said Monday.