Unconfirmed local media reports said at least one police officer had been rushed to hospital after the bombing
A suspected suicide bomber was killed and six people were injured when the man blew himself up at the police headquarters in the Indonesian city of Medan on Wednesday (Nov 13), national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said, Agencies report.
The perpetrator allegedly walked into the compound around 8.40am local time (9.40am Singapore time) after a police morning briefing, and then exploded himself in front of an office.
“We still don’t know if it was a high-explosive. The team is working with Inafis (Indonesia Automatic Fingerprint Identification System) and forensic laboratory to examine the crime scene,” Inspector General Iqbal said.
He added that the alleged suicide bomber was killed, while the six people – five police officers and one civilian – were injured and several vehicles were damaged.
All the victims were taken to a police hospital, local media reported.
The police and the anti-terrorism squad Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88) are investigating the incident, including looking into which group might be behind the attack, Insp. Gen. Iqbal said.
Medan is the provincial capital of North Sumatra.
A number of Indonesian television channels showed footage of people rushing out of buildings around the headquarters.
Eyewitnesses told local media they heard a loud explosion and saw puffs of white smoke as they rushed out of the building.
An eyewitness named Lila Mayasari told MetroTV news station that she was queueing to get her paperwork done inside the police headquarters when she heard a loud blast.
“There was an explosion. I felt as if I was lifted off the ground, like there was an earthquake. It was loud and then I saw white smoke. I panicked and shouted ‘Bomb!’ Everyone panicked and started running,” she said.
Another witness, Mr Jones, told MetroTV that he saw two brown-skinned men, both about 170cm tall, talking in the parking area in the headquarters.
“They carried a bag… and I was suspicious from their facial expression if they wanted to commit a crime,” he said, adding that both the men wore jackets belonging to a ride-hailing service.
A police source who refused to be named said that one of the perpetrators walked into the compound after a briefing there, and one of the police officers, police commissioner Abdul Mutolip, tried to chase the man clad in a ride-hailing service uniform with “suspicious movements”.
The man exploded the bomb near the narcotics division building before Com. Abdul could reach him, the source said.
The source also added that splinters could be found near a food stall about 200m from the police headquarters.
Another national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the police would provide further information about the alleged suicide bombing when they finish the investigation on the ground.
The police was trying to find explosive materials that might have spread in the location with the assistance of a sniffer dog, MetroTV reported.