Indonesia church attacker may have been exposed to radicalism

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"Acts of persecution, attacks and terror in the special province of Yogyakarta will increase in line with the rise of activities by radical mass organisations, and also because of the policy of the provincial government, which has not taken firm actions in dealing with these acts of violence and intolerance in the city", the official said.

Police identified the suspect as a 23-year-old university student from Banyuwangi regency in East Java province, Suliyono. Once inside, the attacker began assaulting people indiscriminately and destroying Christian symbols.

"Everybody started panicking and screaming, I was scrambling to save my wife and children", Cahyo said.

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Police arrived soon after the attack and fired a warning shot but the attacker refused to surrender.

'After the warning shot was sacked, the attacked charged toward the officer with his sword.

The policeman who wounded the attacker with two shots to the legs was injured by the man with the Samurai-like sword as the officer intervened to stop the attack, officials said.

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"Four people have been injured in the incident - quite seriously - but we still can not determine the perpetrator's motive", Yogyakarta police spokesman Yulianto told AFP. "We need to dig out more details and question the perpetrator".

Churches are a common target for Islamic militants in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, laid out this "Islam of the Islands", but he also insisted that Aceh, West Java, the Banten, and South Sulawesi have Islamic communities influenced by radical Islam and are where "90 percent" of the country's civil strife occurs.

Persecution watchdog organization Open Doors ranks Indonesia as 38 on their list of the world's most unsafe countries to be a Christian.

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