Indonesia strengthens security after a series of bombings (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia’s police on May 15 shot dead a militant and arrested 13 others suspected of links to suicide bombings in Surabaya city on on May 13 and 14, which left at least 20 dead and many others injured.

Surabaya police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said the militant died in a shootout in the city with counter-terrorism police.

Meanwhile, 13 suspects were arrested during raids in Surabaya and its neighbouring cities of Malang and Pasuruan.

On May 13, three Christian churches in Surabaya were hit by bombings, with the perpetrators identified to be members of a family, including four children aged nine to 18.

The bombings were followed by a bomb explosion in an apartment building in East Java’s Sidoarjo town in the evening, which killed a mother and her 17-year-old son. The father was holding a trigger to another bomb when police arrived. He was shot dead before he could detonate.

A family of five, including an eight-year-old girl, conducted the suicide bombing in front of police headquarters in Surabaya city on May 14.

The use of children in terrorist plots, analysts say, represents a new and shocking development in Indonesia.

The seven children from three families who died in suicide bombings over recent days were indoctrinated with radical teachings by one of the fathers, who was the head of an Islamic State-linked radical group, police said on May 15.

East Java Police Chief Machfud Arifin told a press conference that all the children, except one, of those three families attended regular Koran reading sessions at the home of Dita Oeprianto, 54, the Surabaya regional leader of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah.-VNA