Indonesian Buddhist temple bombed over 'screams of the Rohingyas'


A protester belonging to the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) holds a placard calling to 'stop the massacre of Muslim Rohingya and Myanmar Buddhists cowards' during a rally near at the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta on May 3, 2013. The protest highlighted the growing anger in Muslim-majority Indonesia over a string of religious clashes in largely-Buddhist Myanmar, that have left many minority Muslims dead and tens of thousands displaced. Meanwhile, two Indonesians were detained over a plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta, officials said.



A small explosion rocked a Buddhist temple in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta on Sunday, injuring one person and causing mild damage in an apparent effort to draw attention to the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population. 

The explosion took place at the Ekayana Buddhist Vihara late on Sunday as worshippers gathered there, the Jakarta Post reported, in two separate, fairly weak explosions that destroyed part of the religious facility and left one person lightly wounded. 

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The bomb that detonated fully appeared to be composed of a mixture of iron and ball bearings, wrote AFP, while another bomb only emitted smoke and failed to go off.

Officials appear to have CCTV footage of the perpetrator planting the devices, and a probe into the attack is underway. Authorities still don't have an idea of who is behind the attack. 

According to Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, a note was found at the scene of the bombing reading only: "We hear the screams of the Rohingya."

Ali added that the blast disrespected the sanctity of the Muslim holy month and thus could be considered "accursed and barbaric," according to the Jakarta Post, although he implored all religious believers "not to be provoked by the incident." 

Unrest between Myanmar Buddhists and Muslims has swelled in the past year, with special ire directed at members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, who are often considered to be illegal immigrants and not valid citizens. Over 167 have died since the conflicts began.

Indonesia and Jakarta represent an important Asian way station for Rohingya Muslims attempting to flee Myanmar, often via rickety and dangerous boats. 

In May, four were arrested for plotting to bomb the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta, seeking revenge on the Southeast Asian nation's government for the treatment of the Rohingya population.

Jakarta continues to press Myanmar on offering its Rohingya population legal rights, as the flow of boat people into its territory continues.