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Truck crashes into crowd in Bebes, in Indonesia’s Central Java province

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A TRUCK has crashed into a crowd in Indonesia’s Central Java province, killing 12 people and injuring nine others, police say.

Local residents were gathered on the side of a street in the district of Brebes on Sunday, local time, when the truck swerved to avoid a collision and ran into them, local police chief Sugiarto said.

Police suspect brake failure may have been the cause.

Brebes is about 200km east of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

There were initial fears the crash was terror related after Indonesia has been hit with a wave of Islamist bombings over the last week.

The country remains on high alert after four terrorists were shot dead after an attempt was made to attack a police station on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday using machetes.

The attack comes as police conduct a massive crackdown on militants who have taken to using children as suicide bombers.

That attack came after 18 people died four days earlier, at three different churches in Surabaya, including the six family members who executed the attacks. Another 41 people were injured in the blasts.

The family of attackers, which included two daughters aged 9 and 12, split up across separate locations, with the bombings happening within minutes of each other.

Police chief General Tito Karnavian said the father detonated a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother and her two daughters wore explosives.

A matter of hours after the church attacks, three people in one family were killed in an accidental explosion at an apartment in Sidoarjo, not far from Surabaya. It is believed they were making bombs for another attack.

There were further attacks last Monday, when a family riding two motorbikes detonated a bomb at a security checkpoint at the Surabaya police headquarters in East Java.

Four of the family members were killed in the blast, while an eight-year-old girl, who was a passenger on one of the bikes, was injured and taken to hospital.

It has since been revealed that the wave of attacks were linked.

Indonesian police chief General Tito Karnavian said that at a local level the attacks appeared to be revenge for the continued detention and trial of Indonesian terrorist leader, Aman Abdurahman, who is currently before the courts for inspiring the January 2016 attack on a Starbucks café in Jakarta.

The attacks, which have been condemned around the world, are the first time in Indonesia that young children have been shockingly used as suicide bombers in a worrying new trend.

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