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Indonesia: One Dead, Three Injured by Islamic State Samurai Sword Attack on Police Station

Indonesian policemen examine a car used by attackers during an assault on a police headquarters on the island of Sumatra that left one officer dead and two wounded
AFP DEDY SUTISNA

A group of Islamic State militants attacked a police station in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, with samurai swords on Wednesday morning, killing one police officer and wounding two others along with a local journalist.

The Jakarta Post reports that five men were involved in the attack, and four of them were shot dead by police on the scene. The fifth was captured while fleeing and is currently in police custody.

The attackers wore masks and carried firearms in addition to their swords. According to Australia’s ABC News, there were suspicions one of the attackers had a bomb strapped to his body, but either these rumors were incorrect or the bomb failed to detonate.

The attack began when the militants crashed their vehicle, described as a “car” in some reports and a “van” in others, into the entrance to the police headquarters for Riau province on the island of Sumatra. The journalist, who was on site to film a news report about “drugs at the police headquarters,” according to the Jakarta Post, was injured in the car crash. ABC states that the slain police officer was killed when one of the terrorists ran him down while trying to escape in the vehicle.

National police spokesman Setyo Wasisto told CNN the attackers belonged to an ISIS affiliate called the Indonesian Islamic State. ISIS has claimed credit for the attack through its Amaq news agency.

The police station attack was the latest in a string of atrocities by Islamist militants in Indonesia, including the horrific bombing of Christian churches by a family of radicals and a motorcycle bombing attack on a police station in Surabaya. The escalation of violence has been linked to ISIS fighters returning to Indonesia, bringing military experience and ties to Islamic State leadership with them.

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