JAKARTA - A blast inside the police headquarters in the Indonesian city of Medan in North Sumatra is a suspected suicide bombing, a police spokesman said on Wednesday (Nov 13).
Tatan Dirsan Atmaja, a spokesman for the North Sumatra police, said by telephone that the suspected suicide bomber had died in the attack. He said some police officers had been wounded in the blast that occurred at 8.40am local time (9.40am in Singapore).
A number of Indonesian television channels showed footage of people rushing out of buildings around the headquarters.
According to the Jakarta Post, at least one person was injured at the parking lot.
National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo has confirmed that the explosion took place.
“Yes, it is suspected to be... a suicide bombing. The perpetrator is suspected to have died, but the team (of police) are still examining the crime scene,” Dedi said in a live report by Kompas TV.
He said the blast happened in a car park near an area where people were queuing for clearance letters from police.
“We’re on alert right now,” Dedi told Kompas TV. “The explosion didn’t reach the centre for the clearance letter service, it was just in a parking lot.”
Dedi said personnel from the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad and the North Sumatra Police's Indonesia Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (Inafis) had arrived at the scene to assist in the investigation.
He said the police would give further information about the alleged suicide bombing upon finishing the investigation on the ground.
The police was trying to find explosive materials that might have dispersed in the location with the assistance of a sniffer dog, MetroTV reported.
An AFP reporter at the scene saw a body lying on the ground outside the station.
A police source who did not want to be named told AFP that the attack was perpetrated by at least two suicide bombers, but that was not officially confirmed.
Unconfirmed local media reports said at least one police officer had been rushed to hospital after the bombing but that his condition was not immediately known.
In recent years, Islamic radicals, some tied to the Islamic State-inspired militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), have targeted police in a series of attacks.
The latest attack comes a month after a suspected Islamist stabbed and wounded Wiranto, Indonesia’s former security minister, who uses one name.
In August, Indonesian authorities shot and arrested a suspected militant who attacked police officers at a station in the country’s second-biggest city Surabaya.