A would-be suicide bomber failed to detonate explosives in a packed church in western Indonesia during Sunday mass and injured a priest with an axe before he was restrained, police said.
The assailant left a bench and ran toward the priest at the altar but a bomb in his backpack did not go off, said national police spokesperson Maj. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar.
The man kept running toward the priest who was giving a sermon with a burning backpack, as the shocked congregation chased and captured him.
Before he was restrained, he managed to take an axe from the backpack and attacked the priest, Albert Pandiangan, 60, causing a slight injury on his hand, Amar said.
The motive of the attack at the Roman Catholic St. Yoseph Church in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, was not clear. Police were interrogating the 18-year old man, who told them that he was not working alone, Amar said, without providing details.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has suffered a spate of deadly attacks by militants since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.