Indonesian counter-terrorism police have arrested ten people suspected of planning suicide bombings of churches in Papua province.
Antara news agency reported that the suicide bombers planned to target several churches in the region between Merauke city and the border with Papua New Guinea.
Merauke’s district police chief, Untung Sangaji said the plans were foiled because police were on standby at the sites being targeted.
The suspects allegedly planned to carry out suicide bombings in churches in Merauke, Jagebob, Kurik, Semangga, and Tanah Miring.
The police said the suspects were linked to the group Jamaah Ansarut Daulah, which is supposedly affiliated with the so-called Islamic State.
In March, Catholic cathedral in Makassar South Sulawesi was hit by a bomb that is suspected to be the handiwork of the same group.
Makassar, the biggest city on Sulawesi island, reflects the religious makeup of Indonesia, which is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country and has a substantial Christian minority, among other faiths.
About 10 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s more than 270 million population is Christian. There are an estimated eight million Indonesian Catholics.