Protesters from the Islamic Defenders Front demonstrate in December 2016 to stop retail workers from wearing Santa hats inside malls AFP

JAKARTA: A hardline Indonesian Islamist group crashed a child's birthday party as it rampaged through a community on the hunt for clandestine brothels, police said yesterday. The drama unfolded on Friday when dozens of members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) stormed into a house they believed was being used for prostitution on the island of Madura in East Java province. The group yanked two suspected sex workers from the home and attacked its owner until she fainted, police said. The angry mob then proceeded to storm into other nearby homes, including one hosting a kid's birthday party. "They attacked the house in a frenzy and also assaulted local residents," police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said. "They were basically playing police" by trying to fight crime, he added. He would not confirm a report that the radicals grabbed some of the women who had brought their children to the party. The door-to-door raid angered some residents who retaliated by destroying the radicals' cars and motorbikes.