World

Police kill 3 terrorists, foil suicide attack in Jakarta

Indonesia crackdown on terror cells

JAKARTA: Indonesian police killed three terrorists and arrested another yesterday during a raid outside Jakarta, foiling a plan to stage a suicide attack on police officers guarding Christmas celebrations.

The terrorists had planned to stab a police officer first and to carry out a suicide bombing when a crowd gathered, Jakarta police chief Inspector General M. Iriawan said.

"We have seized evidence. Several bombs, including a pipe bomb, fire arms, backpacks with live bombs inside," he said.

Police spokesman Brigadier General Rikwanto said: "We have yet to find out the role of each of them, including who could have been the suicide bomber."

He said the men were linked to a terror cell in Solo, Central Java, whose plan to attack the presidential palace in Jakarta was foiled earlier this month.

The police conducted the raid at a rented house in a residential area called Puri Serpong 2 in South Tangerang, Banten province.

The terrorists were identified only as Omen, Helmi and Irwan. The man arrested was Adam.

Another police spokesman Awi Setiyono said two of the terrorists are members of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah network, an offshoot of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, but he did not identify the two.

"The three killed terrorists resisted arrest during the raid by throwing a bomb and firing shots at police. Police also found a bigger bomb in the house," BG Rikwanto told Metro TV.

He also said the Detachment 88 anti-terror squad was stepping up raids ahead of year-end festivities.

Like in previous years, the police had deployed additional officers at strategic locations, usually near churches.

MAID

The anti-terror unit had earlier arrested at least 10 members of the Solo cell, which police said was set up by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant who is in the Middle East fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

Among the members of the group arrested were three women, including Dian Yulia Novi, who had worked as a maid in Singapore and Taiwan. Dian, 27, had hidden a homemade "rice-cooker" bomb in her rented room, where she was arrested in Bekasi, West Java.

Police said investigations are continuing into the larger network and its agenda, AFP reported.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, suffered many deadly homegrown attacks during the last decade - including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed over 200 people.

A sustained crackdown has weakened many of the extremist networks, but there have been fears of a resurgence in militancy. Police believe hundreds of Indonesians have travelled to Syria to fight with militant groups, including ISIS.

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