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Dozens hurt in mosque suicide blast

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in an Indonesian mosque, wounding 26 people in the first attack by militants against a mosque in the predominantly Muslim country.

The bombing happened during Friday prayers inside a police compound in the West Java town of Cirebon.

Victims, many of them police officers, were rushed to hospitals with multiple wounds, said hospital spokeswoman Yeni Rahmawati.

Indonesia, a secular, predominantly Muslim nation of 237 million, has been hit by a string of al Qaida-linked terrorist attacks since the 2002 bombings on two crowded Bali nightclubs.

Many of the 260 people killed in those attacks were foreign tourists.

In the last year, however, militants seeking to carve out an Islamic state have said the country's moderate leaders and security forces would be their main targets. They have attacked several police posts since then, but never before a mosque.

West Java police chief Major General Suparni Parto said the mangled body of the suicide bomber was found at the scene.

The man was apparently wearing a suicide vest beneath his black Islamic robes and sitting among dozens of worshippers when he set off the bomb, said police spokesman Agus Riyanto.

The bomber shouted "God is Great" as he detonated his device.


From Belfast Telegraph