An explosion shook a Roman Catholic cathedral compound within the jap Indonesian metropolis of Makassar on Sunday morning, shattering the calm of Palm Sunday, a holy day for Christians.

No churchgoers had been killed, however a minimum of 19 individuals had been being handled for accidents at Makassar hospitals, a regional police spokesman stated. The blast was nonetheless being investigated, however President Joko Widodo stated it was an act of terrorism.

The explosion passed off round 10:20 a.m. on the gate to the Sacred Coronary heart of Jesus Cathedral compound, stated Inspector Normal Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono, a spokesman for the Indonesian Nationwide Police.

Shortly earlier than the blast, Mr. Argo stated, two individuals on a motorbike had been stopped by church safety personnel, who feared that they had been making an attempt to focus on the cathedral simply as Mass was ending.

Video from the positioning, taken quickly after the explosion, confirmed smoldering wreckage and palm fronds scattered on the bottom.

Physique elements recovered from the blast web site had been of a person and a lady who had been presumed to be the bombers, stated Kombes E. Zulfan, the spokesman for the regional police.

Father Wilhelmus Tulak, a priest on the cathedral, advised Metro TV, an Indonesian community, {that a} parking attendant had been burned as he tried to cease the 2 individuals on the bike, who he stated regarded suspicious.

Mohammad Ramadhan Pomanto, the mayor of Makassar, a multifaith port metropolis of about 1.5 million individuals on the island of Sulawesi, advised Metro TV that physique elements had been discovered so far as 200 meters away.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, has a big Christian minority. Mr. Joko, the president, condemned what he known as the “terrorism” on the cathedral and stated that “the state ensures the security of non secular individuals to worship with out concern.”

In a press release, Mr. Joko stated he had ordered the police to “totally examine the perpetrator’s networks and dismantle the community to its roots.”

In recent times, Southeast Asian associates of the Islamic State have focused Christian locations of worship in Indonesia and within the principally Catholic Philippines.

In 2018, three Christian churches were bombed in Surabaya, the second-largest metropolis in Indonesia, leaving a dozen bystanders lifeless. The suicide bombers had been a married couple and their 4 kids. Inside days, members of two other families also set off bombs in Surabaya, blowing themselves up.

Final 12 months, a Roman Catholic cathedral was bombed for the third time on the island of Jolo within the southern Philippines, killing a minimum of 14 individuals. As with the Surabaya bombings, an area affiliate of the Islamic State claimed accountability for that strike. A 2019 suicide attack on the identical cathedral, which killed greater than 20 individuals, was carried out by an Indonesian couple.

An Indonesian council of Muslim clerics condemned the Makassar explosion, calling it inhumane and in opposition to the instructing of all faiths practiced within the nation. The council urged that the incident not be linked to any particular faith.