Attacker slashes churchgoers with sword, injuring 5 in Indonesia

Attacker slashes churchgoers with sword, injuring 5 in Indonesia

Attacker slashes churchgoers with sword, injuring 5 in Indonesia

Police in Indonesia shot a sword-wielding man who attacked a church congregation during yesterday's Mass, injuring four people, including a German priest.

Among the four injured in the attack was a police officer who, as witnesses said, tried to subdue the assailant with the help of a priest.

All the injured people have been rushed into a nearby hospital for medical treatments, police said.

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Police officers stand guard outside St. Lidwina Church following an attack in Sleman, Yogyakarta province, Indonesia, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018.

Worshipper Andhi Cahyo said a few minutes after the service started, a congregation member ran in with a bleeding head while he was chased by a young man holding a sharp weapon.

"Everybody started panicking and screaming. The officer then shot him below his stomach, but he managed to injure the cop before being subdued", Cahyo said.

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According to reports, the suspect also damaged statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, as well as destroyed some books in the church.

Churches are a common target for Islamic militants in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Several children were injured after a man threw Molotov cocktails at a church during a Sunday service in 2016.

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After Sunday's attack, the chief of Yogyakarta branch of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Lutfi Hamid, appealed to all parties to refrain from further violence. "Whatever the reason for this is intolerant behavior", he told reporters.

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