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Indonesia: Suicide bomber angry at new sex law kills one

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A suicide bomber has blown himself up and killed one in Indonesia in an apparent rage that a new law in the country banning sex between people who aren’t married did not go far enough.

The controversial new law – which could affect Australians holidaying in Bali – was ratified on Tuesday.

Police said the killer was a Muslim terrorist who had only been released from jail a year after he aided in another bombing.

The bomb exploded at the Astanaanyar Police Station in Bandung City, West Java on Wednesday morning at around 8.20am local time (12.20pm AEDT).

Bandung is 150km south east of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.

According to local media, the attacker entered the police station on a motorbike, entered the building while a staff meeting was on and then detonated one of two bombs he was carrying.

“Staff members dodged (the man) and then there was an explosion. The perpetrator carrying the bomb died in the Astanaanyar lobby,” Indonesian news outlet Kompas reported Bandung Police chief Kombes Aswin Sipayung as saying.

Police officer Aipda Sofyan was reported to have died with a further 11 injured.

Video from the scene is reported to have shown body parts near the police station’s entrance.

Police said that the bomber had a piece of paper taped to his body which said: “Criminal code is the law of infidels, let’s fight the satanic law enforcers”.

That appears to be a reference to controversial new laws in Indonesia that were ratified on Tuesday that will outlaw premarital and extramarital sex as well as limiting criticism of the president.

The new legislation could also heavily impact the LGBTI community because while homosexuality is legal in most of Indonesia, gay marriage is not.

The law applies to visitors as well as Indonesians meaning tourists could fall foul of the new legislation when it starts to be applied.

The country of 275 million people varies from regions like Aceh where sharia law is in place to the tourist hot spot of Bali which is far more liberal.

It’s thought the suicide bomber was angered the new criminal code was not strict enough and that the laws also allow a crackdown on extremist ideologies.

Some Muslim hardliners in Indonesia want sharia law to be implemented nationwide.

National police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo identified the killer as Agus Sujnato, also known as Agus Muslim.

He had been jailed for four years for funding terrorism and making explosives which were used in a 2017 attack on municipal building also in Bandung.

He was released from prison in either September or October of 2021.

He was believed to be a member of militant Muslim organisation Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD) which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Sujanto was on a police “red list” in Indonesia after he failed to take part in a deradicalisation program.

“Using the new criminal code can only be seen as a momentum by terrorists to launch their action,” executive director of Jakarta’s Centre for Radicalism and Deradicalisation Studies Adhe Bakti told AP.

“Police and places of worship are actually the main target of JAD since the beginning.”

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