Jakarta, Oct 10 (AFP/APP): A suspected IS radical stabbed Indonesia’s chief security minister as he was exiting a vehicle Thursday, leaving two deep wounds in his stomach and injuring three others in an assassination attempt on one of the country’s most powerful political figures.
Television images showed security officers wrestling a man and woman to the ground outside a university in Pandeglang on Java island after the attack on Wiranto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
“Someone approached and attacked him,” said national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo, adding that the pair were arrested.
Berkah Hospital spokesman Firmansyah said the 72-year-old former military general may need surgery for his two stomach wounds, but was conscious and in a stable condition.
Wiranto — who police have said was one of several targets in a failed assasination plot earlier this year — was later rushed by helicopter to the capital Jakarta.
The retired chief of the armed forces and a failed presidential candidate, Wiranto has faced controversy over alleged human rights violations and crimes against humanity linked to violence following East Timor’s 1999 independence referendum.
Thursday’s incident comes just over a week before President Joko Widodo kicks off a second term as leader of the Southeast Asian archipelago of some 260 million people, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation.
Surrounded by reporters in Jakarta Thursday, Widodo said only “I’m going to the hospital”, when asked about Wiranto.