The National Police’s bomb squad investigated an unattended brown suitcase found by a local resident in front of a McDonald’s fast food restaurant on Jl. Ring Road in Medan, North Sumatra, on Sunday. The suitcase was suspected to contain an assembled bomb similar to that found in East Binjai, North Sumatra, on Saturday, just three days after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited the city.
The police dispatched their Gegana bomb squad to the location after receiving a report on the suspicious suitcase. “I went along the street at around 6 a.m. and the suitcase was already there. I saw a young man wearing a green shirt standing near the suitcase,” said Irwan, a local resident.
Nofri, a local resident who also passed through the area around 6 a.m., said he saw four men watching over the suitcase. “I thought they wanted to go to Kualanamu [International Airport]. This area is on the route of bus services to the airport,” he said.
The police said that after assessing the suitcase, they found it did not contain materials similar to those found in East Binjai. The police seized the suitcase for further investigations. As reported earlier, a local resident found a black suitcase containing explosive materials, assembled guns, magazines, bullets and cable reels in Binjai on Saturday.
Binjai Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Mulya Hakin Solihin said the North Sumatra Police’s bomb squad was examining the suitcase, but added that the homemade bomb had been defused. He said the police would beef up security measures around the city following the discovery of the bomb and would find out who made it.
“We will cooperate with the North Sumatra Police and the [National Police’s] Densus 88 counterterrorism squad,” he added.
On Jan. 14, a deadly attack occurred near the Sarinah department store on Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Four civilians were killed in the attack, which also injured more than 20 people. (ebf)