A man armed with a sword has attacked a church congregation in Indonesia, injuring at least four people before being shot by police, Press TV reported. They said the congregation was praying when the attack happened at Santa Lidwina Church in the Yogyakarta province of Java. Security officials tried to stop the attacker from entering the church, but the man forced his way into the building, police officials said.
Police arrived soon after the attack and fired a warning shot but the attacker refused to surrender.
Victims of the attack included the church's pastor, police said.
The suspect, identified only as Suliyono, was hospitalized. The priest sustained cuts to the back of his head and shoulders, according to an eyewitness account. "I was scrambling to save my wife and children", Cahyo said. The officer then shot him below his stomach, but he managed to injure the cop before being subdued.
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The city, located about 500km south-east of Jakarta, is regarded as the cultural heart of Java, Indonesia's main island. But members of the small Christian minority have been targeted in recent attacks by militants and in religiously-fueled campaigns by conservative groups from the Muslim majority.
Several children were injured after a man threw Molotov cocktails at a church during a Sunday service in 2016.
Three months later, a church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, was struck by a homemade bomb which injured four people.
"It is very heartbreaking".