JAKARTA, Indonesia—A man threw a pipe bomb at an Indonesian provincial governor while he was on a stage but the device packed with nails failed to explode, police said on Monday after arresting the suspect and a second man. No one was injured.
South Sulawesi Gov Syahrul Yasin Limpo was attending a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of his political party, the Golkar party, in the provincial capital, Makassar. Police are investigating whether Sunday’s failed attack was linked to a known terrorism group or to the next gubernatorial election. Limpo is seeking re-election in the January poll.
White smoke poured out of the pipe bomb but it did not explode, said national police spokesman Brig-Gen Boy Rafli Amar.
The suspect, Awaluddin Nasir, 25, was beaten up by the crowd and arrested just after allegedly tossing the device.
Nasir led police to another suspect late on Sunday, and security forces are still searching for at least two other men who escaped during a police raid near Pamajengang Village. Dozens of officers are now surrounding the area.
Police seized a homemade bomb and two guns and are investigating a possible terrorism link. “We found similarities with the explosive used by a terrorist group in Poso,” Amar said.
Poso was a flashpoint for violence between Christians and Muslims in which more than 1,000 people died in 2001 and 2002. Authorities believe the district is now a terrorist hotbed.
Indonesia has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
Terrorist attacks aimed at foreigners have been largely replaced in recent years by smaller, less deadly strikes targeting government, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.