2005 Palu market bombing

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2005 Palu market bombing
Location Indonesia Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Date December 31, 2005
7:05 am (UTC+8)
Target Meat market in southern Maesa district, Palu
Attack type
Bombing, mass murder, terrorism
Weapons Nail bomb
Deaths 8
Non-fatal injuries

The 2005 Palu market bombing occurred on 31 December 2005, in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. An improvised explosive device, described as a nail bomb or similar,[1] detonated around 7:00 a.m. within a Palu butcher's market mostly frequented by Christians shopping for New Year's Eve celebrations, killing eight people and wounding a further 53.[1][2][3]

The bomb detonated within a partially enclosed butcher's shop that sold pig and dog meat direct to the public, both of which are forbidden under Islamic custom.[4] A second explosive device was reportedly discovered around four metres from the initial blast site, nearby a stall selling pork, and defused.[5][6]

The target, a market in a district dominated by the mostly Christian Minahasa ethnic group,[7] may have been selected to maximise Christian casualties, as Central Sulawesi province had previously been the site of significant sectarian violence between Christian and Muslim factions that claimed over a thousand lives between 1998 and 2002.[6][8] The conflict had largely been concentrated around the Poso region of the province and Palu had largely been spared wide scale violence and then Indonesian Security Minister Widodo Adisucipto suggested Jemaah Islamiyah may have been responsible for the attack.[2]

The attack[edit]

The device, described as home-made[9] and low-explosive,[5] detonated at 7:05 a.m. within a meat stall in front of a house used for the slaughter of pigs and opposite the Bethel Church in the Maesa subdistrict, south of Palu.[5][10] Police officials stated the bomb was filled with nails and ball bearings, and most of the victims suffered injuries to their limbs due the shrapnel from the device.[6] Bystanders are described as having carried the wounded from the makeshift market to a road, and placing them in passing cars to be taken to local hospitals, where at least 20 shoppers were treated for serious injuries in the attack.[1][6]

Several of the fatalities were identified as Bambang Wiyono Saputra (50), Yakulina Tana (45), Agustina Mande (37) the owners of the stall, Yoppie (42) and his wife Meisye (39) and a member of the Intelligence Unit of the Tadulako District Army Command, Sgt. Tasman Lahansang.[5]


Following the attack, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono denounced the bombing and conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims. Roadblocks were established in the Palu region[3] and a team from the federal Detective and Crimes Unit, or Bareskrim, was deployed directly to Palu to aid the ongoing investigation.[5]

A single person was arrested the same day, according to a report by provincial police chief Oegroseno, although it was unclear whether he was a direct suspect, police would only say that he had been acting suspiciously and asked vendors where they lived.[3][5]

Convicted terrorist financier Eko Budi Wardoyo is suspected of involvement in the Palu market bombing following his involvement in the murder of Reverend Susianti Tinulele, a female pastor killed on 18 July 2004 during an attack on a South Palu church that also wounded four teenagers.[11] Wardoyo was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2010 for funding that attack and giving assistance to the criminals found responsible for the 2005 Tentena market bombings that claimed 22 lives on 28 May 2005.[12]

Another bomb was discovered among street vendors near Palu Plaza during the Idul Fitri festival in 2008 and detonated by the local Palu bomb squad without incident.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Bombing kills eight at Indonesian market". USA Today. Associated Press. 31 January 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "At least eight killed in Indonesia market blast". CTV.ca News. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Indonesian police detain man after market bombing". ABC Australia. Reuters. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Violence plagued province in Indonesia suffers bomb blast; 6 killed, 45 injured". Record-Journal. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "One arrested for bombing in Palu, Indonesia". Xinhua Online. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Indonesia bomb leaves eight dead". BBC Online. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Bomb Explosion In Palu, Central Sulawesi Kills Six, Injures 43". Bernama.com. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "IV. Part Two: Chronology of the Conflict". Four Years of Communal Violence in Central Sulawesi. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Indonesian president orders immediate probe into Palu bombing". Xinhua Online. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "More deaths from Palu blast reported in Indonesia". Xinhua Online. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Bhakti, Adhe (4 November 2010). "Indonesian Cleric Gets 10 Years for Funding Terror". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Haryanto, Ulma (24 August 2010). "Cleric's Trial Told of Poso's Bloody Reign of Terror". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Sangaji, Ruslan (30 September 2008). "Kids uncover Idul Fitri bomb terror plan in Palu". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 28 July 2011.