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Indonesian priest injured in church attack

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Indonesian policemen examine the Santo Yosef chuch after a man tried to attack a priest in Medan on August 28, 2016. A knife-wielding attacker in Indonesia stabbed a Catholic priest and tried to set off an explosive device at a church on, police said, the latest in a string of attacks on religious minorities in the mainly Muslim country. HAKIM RANGKUTI / AFP

Indonesian policemen examine the Santo Yosef chuch after a man tried to attack a priest in Medan on August 28, 2016. A knife-wielding attacker in Indonesia stabbed a Catholic priest and tried to set off an explosive device at a church on, police said, the latest in a string of attacks on religious minorities in the mainly Muslim country.<br />HAKIM RANGKUTI / AFP

A knife-wielding man stabbed a Catholic priest and tried to set off an explosive device at a church in Indonesia on Sunday, police said, the latest attack on religious minorities in the mainly Muslim country.

Priest Albert Pandiangan was holding a mass in the city of Medan on the western island of Sumatra when a young man approached him and stabbed him in his left arm, said local chief detective Nur Fallah.

The attacker was carrying a homemade explosive device, said Fallah.

“Somebody tried to kill the priest by pretending to attend the church service and at that time tried to explode something, like a firecracker, but the firecracker didn’t explode, it only fumed,” Fallah told reporters.

The priest suffered slight injuries and has been taken to hospital for treatment.

A picture of the attacker’s ID card circulating online said he was Muslim.

In recent years there have been a number of attacks on religious minorities and others in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

A suicide attack in the Indonesian capital in January killed four attackers and four civilians, including a Westerner, and injured 19.

In July a suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State group blew himself up outside a police station in Central Java.

Churchgoers on Sunday quickly caught the attacker and called the police.

An eyewitness, Markus Harianto Manullan, said the assailant wore a jacket and carried a bag.

“He sat in the same row as I did… I saw him fiddling with something in his jacket, and then I heard a small explosion and he immediately ran to the podium,” Manullan said.

Police are still investigating the man’s motive.


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