An ISIS suicide bomber attacked a Catholic priest with an axe as he tried to blow up hundreds of worshippers at a church during Sunday Mass.
Priest Albert Pandiangan, 60, was holding the holy ceremony at the altar when the 18-year-old fanatic rushed towards him with a backpack bomb and tried to blow himself up.
But the bomb burned without setting off the explosives, so the jihadi pulled an axe from his bag and slashed the priest’s arm at St Yoseph Church in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
An ISIS suicide bomber today attacked a Catholic priest with an axe as he tried to blow up hundreds of worshippers at a church during Sunday Mass.
Hundreds of people could have been killed if the bomb had gone off inside the church in Indonesia but the device failed and members of the congregation wrestled the axe from his grasp
Priest Albert Pandiangan was slashed on the arm while taking the holy ceremony on the Indonesian island.
The congregation then stepped in and managed to wrestle the axe from his grasp, detaining him until the police arrived.
The young fanatic also told police that he was not working alone.
‘Somebody tried to kill the priest by pretending to attend the church service and at that time tried to explode something, like a firecracker, but the firecracker didn’t explode, it only fumed,’ chief detective Nur Fallah said.
The priest suffered slight injuries and has been taken to hospital near where it happened.
A picture of the attacker’s ID card circulating online said he was Muslim.
In recent years there have been a number of attacks on religious minorities and others in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
Officers continued to guard the church after the incident earlier today, which sent shockwaves through the small Christian community that exists on the island
A suicide attack in the Indonesian capital in January killed four attackers and four civilians, including a Westerner, and injured 19.
In July a suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State group blew himself up outside a police station in Central Java.
Churchgoers on Sunday quickly caught the attacker and called the police.
An eyewitness, Markus Harianto Manullan, said the assailant wore a jacket and carried a bag.
‘He sat in the same row as I did… I saw him fiddling with something in his jacket, and then I heard a small explosion and he immediately ran to the podium,’ Manullan said.
Police are still investigating the man’s motive.