Three other young children were also injured – Anita (also two), Trinity (three) and Alvaro (four) – during the attack on Oikumene Church in Samarinda, the provincial capital of East Kalimantan province.
Anita and Trinity are now home, following hospital treatment, though Trinity continues to require regular check-ups.
Meanwhile, Alvaro – the worst injured – says he feels “ashamed” because of his injuries, according to his mother, and shies away from new people.
He has already undergone 17 different operations, including three to replace skin on the top of his head.
His mother says he has at least stopped crying after each operation.
“I always try to encourage him by saying it is important to regain his health and will pray with him before the operation,” says Novita, who is 40. “Seeing him happy is my source of strength and joy as well.”
Novita is a finance officer at the local police station and has to take work with her when she has to visit the hospital two to three times a week.
Meanwhile, Alvaro’s father, Hotdiman, is looking for a new job after quitting one that took him too far from home.
Twenty-one people were arrested after the attack, seven of whom had known links to the Islamic State group. One of them, 32-year-old Juhanda bin Muhammad Aceng, reportedly wore a black T-shirt with the message, “Jihad Way of Life”, as he threw a Molotov cocktail from his passing motorbike.
He was convicted of plotting a terrorist attack in 2011 and, according to the police, had been under supervision since his release on parole in 2014. No new information has been released about the status of his current trial, but two of the other attackers – both teenagers, aged 16 and 17 and identified as ‘GA’ and ‘RP’ – were handed two-year prison terms in January.
Source: World Watch Monitor