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Palm Sunday suicide bombing injures worshipers at Indonesian cathedral

More than a dozen people were injured when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Catholic church in the Muslim-majority archipelago of Indonesia on Palm Sunday, the first day of the Holy Week.

The bomb exploded in front of the Cathedral Church in the city of Makassar in South Sulawesi province at about 10.30 a.m. on Sunday as the church was preparing for its third service, according to reports.

Agence-France Presse quoted local police as saying that at least 14 people were wounded in the bombing.

“There were two people riding on a motorbike when the explosion happened at the main gate of the church. The perpetrators were trying to enter the compound,” National Police spokesman Argo Yuwono was quoted as saying.

“The bike was destroyed and there are body parts,” he added. “We’re still collecting parts and trying to identify the sex of the perpetrators.”

A priest at the church, Father Wilhelmus Tulak, told Indonesian media that a security guard dealt with one suspected bomber who came on a motorbike and tried to get into the church. The incident happened after the second mass was completed. 

Many churchgoers were injured after the explosion shattered glasses inside the church, he said.

“The third round was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and we heard the explosion before [the mass] began,” Wilhelmus told Beritasatu TV.

Footage from a nearby security camera shows fire and smoke after a powerful blast occurred on the road outside the church, The Jakarta Globe reported, adding that the traffic in front of the church was thin.