[Updated at 10:56 a.m. on Monday, August 5, 2013]
A low-intensity bomb went off outside a popular Buddhist temple in West Jakarta on Sunday, injuring three people in an attack reportedly linked to growing anti-Buddhist sentiment among Indonesian terrorists over the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, an anti-terrorism source said.
Two bombs were placed in a green plastic bag and dropped near the front door of the Ekayana Buddhist Center, in Duri Kepa, West Jakarta, on Sunday, said an anonymous source in the National Police’s anti-terrorism unit Densus 88. The bombs were triggered by a cell phone as some 300 people gathered inside the temple for a sermon.
A third bomb failed to detonate, the source said.
“There was another bomb [found smoking]… in a plastic bucket,” he said.
One person suffered minor injuries to her arms. Another two were treated for ear injuries.
Neither police nor the center said who may have been behind the blasts. The source in Densus 88 told the Jakarta Globe the attack was revenge for anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar.
“We suspect this is related to the Rohingya Muslims who are oppressed in Buddhist-majority Myanmar,” the source said. “This, we suppose, is an act of revenge by a terrorism group.”
A letter reading “We heard Rohingya’s screams,” was found inside one of the bomb packages,” Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali told the Indonesian news portal Detik.com.
“Obviously this is not an act of solidarity, this is an act we should all condemn,” Suryadharma said. “Clearly Muslims and Buddhists have been living in harmony since a long time ago.”
Suryadharma called the attack an attempt to provoke tensions between Indonesian Muslims and Buddhists.
“Last night’s terrorist act was unorganized, the objective was unclear,” he said.
There has been growing anger in Indonesia at the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. In May police foiled a plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta by Islamic hard-liners while reports of violence in Myanmar routinely trigger protests in the capital.
The attack was proof that terrorist organizations will continue to target locations in the capital, National Police chief Detective Sutarman said.
“This is a concrete proof that terrorists still exist and they will keep spreading terror at different targets,” Sutarman said.
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Politics, Justice and Security Djoko Suyanto pushed police for swift action by the police.
“Find and arrest whoever did the explosion at the Ekayana temple soon,” Djoko said. “The government has condemned the act, which has ruined the peaceful spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.”
The temple, one of the biggest in Jakarta, said it hoped the blasts would “not cause any unrest in the religious community.”