Indonesian woman arrested after pointing gun at palace guard

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police arrested a woman who pointed a gun Tuesday at a guard at the presidential palace in Jakarta in an attempt to force her way inside.

A member of the presidential guards saw the unidentified woman standing near a guard post outside the palace. Suspicious of her behavior, he confronted the woman, who then pointed a gun at him, said Wahju Hidajat Soedjatmiko, the chief of the presidential guards.

He said the guard snatched the handgun from the woman. A video showed her trying to run away before two guards stopped her. The gun was given to police for investigation.

It appeared that no shots were fired and no one was injured in the incident.

Television reports showed police detaining a woman wearing a long black robe and a blue veil in front of a gate at Merdeka Palace in downtown Jakarta as other officers spoke with her.

Police seized a black bag from her containing only Islam’s holy book, the Quran, and an empty pink wallet with no identification, said Jakarta Police spokesperson Endra Zulpan.

Zulpan said police were questioning the woman at police headquarters to determine her motive and whether she was connected to a militant group.

Indonesia has been battling militants since the Jemaah Islamiyah group carried out bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Attacks aimed at foreigners have been largely replaced in recent years by smaller, less deadly strikes targeting the government, police and anti-terrorism forces, and people who militants consider to be infidels.

A woman in a black veil was arrested and sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for plotting to blow herself up outside the presidential palace in Jakarta during the changing of the guard in 2016.

In March 2021, another veiled woman entered Indonesia’s National Police Headquarters in Jakarta and fired a gun at several police officers before being fatally shot by other officers in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

It came a few days after a married couple with suspected militant links detonated pressure cooker bombs outside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi island, wounding at least 20 people.

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