Surabaya police officer says his ‘instinct was to save’ young girl involved in attack
Roni Faisal said: “As a father myself, my instinct was to save her”. (ABC News: David Lipson)
Roni Faisal doesn’t consider himself a hero.
The Surabaya police officer says he was only doing what any father would do when he rushed into the scene of a suicide bombing to save a little girl.
“I saw she was just a kid — seven or eight years old. Her face and body were covered with blood,” he told the ABC.
“As a father myself, my instinct was to save her. I approached, grabbed her and took her to the medics.”
The little girl was riding on one of two motorcycles used by suicide bombers to blow up the entrance of the Surabaya police headquarters on Monday morning.
Four men, all members of her family, were killed in the blast, but she survived.
“After a while she started moving helplessly, asking for help,” Mr Roni said.
“People were yelling at her, encouraging her to stand up … as a human being, I was only thinking about saving her, even though she was involved in the bombing.”
Amateur vision, recorded at the scene, shows the girl standing amongst the remains of her dead family, before Mr Roni scooped her up and rushed her to safety.
Back at work today, Mr Roni still can’t believe children are being used as deadly weapons by their own parents.
“I am a Muslim too. No-one who does that can claim to be a Muslim,” he said.
Mr Roni said he hopes to visit the girl as soon as she recovers.
“I don’t know what I would say to her,” he said.
“I would only hug her and hope she is still under God’s protection.”
The attack on Surabaya Police HQ came a day after another attack involving children in the city.
Six members of the same family blew themselves up in three separate attacks on churches in the city, during Sunday service.
In one of the attacks, two sisters, aged eight and 12, were strapped with explosives and led by their mother into the entrance to a church, before the bombs were detonated.
On Sunday night, four members of another family were killed, including two children, when a bomb their father was building inside their apartment blew up.
The city of Surabaya remains on high alert, with streets barricaded and armed guards patrolling churches.
At Police HQ, anyone approaching the entrance is stopped and searched, especially those with children.
The ABC witnessed one father forced to remove his young son’s jacket, to ensure he wasn’t a bomber, before they could approach.