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Indonesia orders investigation after single family bombs three churches

Gorkha Post

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SURABAYA — Indonesia’s President has ordered a full investigation into the roots of the organisation blamed for three church bombings in the nation’s second-biggest city, Surabaya, on Sunday, killing at least 13 people.

Six members from the single family, including an eight-year-old girl, blew themselves up in coordinated suicide attacks, which left 13 dead and dozens more injured.

Their father, 46-year-old Dita Oepriarto, dropped his wife, 42-year-old Puji Kuswati, and two girls aged 12 and 8 to one church, before driving a car packed with explosives to another, and blowing it up.

At another church across town, the couple’s two sons, aged 17 and 15, rode an explosive-laden motor scooter into a crowd and set it off.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo toured the bomb sites, describing the act as “barbaric and inhumane”.

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“It’s against our religious values, the precious values of God and diversity. No words can describe how deep our condolences are for the fallen victims.”

“I ask all people to join together in the fight against terrorism and radicalism,” he said.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency.However, it didn’t mention anything about families or children taking part and said there were only three attackers.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said the family had returned to Indonesia from Syria, where until recently IS controlled significant territory.

Agencies

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Former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan dies aged 80

Thompson Reuters

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ACCRA/GENEVA — Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80, his foundation said on Saturday.

Annan, a Ghanaian national, died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday, two of his close associates said.

In Geneva, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced his peaceful death with ‘immense sadness’ after a short illness, saying he was surrounded in his last days by his second wife Nane and children Ama, Kojo and Nina.

Annan served two terms as U.N. Secretary-General in New York from 1997-2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

“”In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whom Annan had chosen to head the UN refugee agency, said in a statement.

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As head of UN peacekeeping operations, Annan was criticized for the world body’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

As U.N. boss he was linked to peace efforts to reunite the divided island of Cyprus. He submitted a reunification blueprint for Cyprus which was rejected in a referendum by Greek Cypriots in 2004.

“The UN can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn’t exist you would have to create it,” he told the BBC’s Hard Talk during an interview for his 80th birthday last April, recorded at the Geneva Graduate Institute where he had studied.

“I am a stubborn optimist, I was born an optimist and will remain an optimist,” Annan added.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, paid tribute to Annan as “humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace”.

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Zeid, who has criticized major powers and other countries during his four-year term that ends later this month, said that whenever he felt “isolated and alone politically”, he would go for long walks with Annan in Geneva.

“When I told him once how everyone was grumbling about me, he looked at me — like a father would look at a son — and said sternly: “You’re doing the right thing, let them grumble.” Then he grinned!

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