4 hurt in sword attack on Indonesian church

Police investigate a sword attack in an Indonesian church on Sunday Feb. 11 2018

"We need to dig out more details and question the perpetrator", said spokesman Yulianto. Among them was a German-born priest who had been leading the service and who had lived in Indonesia for decades, according to a fellow priest, Dwi Harsanto. The reason for the attack Sunday morning was not immediately clear. Witnesses and police said the injured included a police officer who tried to subdue the attacker and the 81-year-old priest Karl Edmund Prier, a longtime resident of Indonesia.

A video of the incident posted on the social media platform WhatsApp showed the suspect dressed in black standing near the altar with his sword and a bag slung over a shoulder, as others appeared to order him to stand down. "I was scrambling to save my wife and children", Cahyo told AFP.

A police officer was also stabbed while trying to detain the suspect.

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A few minutes after the service started, a congregation member ran into the church with a bleeding head chased by a young man holding a sharp weapon, said worshipper Andhi Cahyo.

The city, located about 500km south-east of Jakarta, is regarded as the cultural heart of Java, Indonesia's main island.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim majority country, is known for its long tradition of religious tolerance and embracing different faiths.

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Indonesia has also seen a resurgence in homegrown radicalism, inspired in part by the militant Islamic State group.

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

Three months later, a church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, was struck by a homemade bomb which injured four people. The protests contributed to his losing last year's gubernatorial election and being convicted and sentenced to two years in prison on a blasphemy charge.

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