A bomb exploded inside the Ekayana Buddhist Vihara in West Jakarta late on Sunday, injuring three people and destroying some parts of the site, which was established in 1995 to accommodate Buddhist students studying in nearby universities. West Jakarta Police chief Fadil Imran said witnesses heard two explosions from inside the vihara.
“They seemed to be bombs installed in a separate section inside the building. We’re still gathering more information,” he said.
Witnesses said they heard two separate explosions from inside the vihara, located on Jl. Mangga II and is around three kilometers from the bustling shopping malls of Central Park and Taman Anggrek. “The first explosion occurred at 9:10pm followed by a second at 10:45pm” said Iwan, a local resident.
As of Sunday 24:00 p.m., the police’s bomb squad was still combing the building for more explosives.
Since April, Extremists and terrorist groups have conveyed their plans to target Buddhists and Myanmar facilities in Indonesia in response to sectarian conflict in Buddhist-majority Myanmar that has cost the lives of many members of the Muslim minority community.
The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group that has long been subject to persecution in Myanmar.
A terrorist group launched a failed attack at the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta in May.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, has waged a campaign against radicalism and terrorism since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including foreign tourists. The authorities have detained more than 700 suspected terrorists and accomplices, and killed more than 65.
Published in The Jakarta Post on 5 August 2013