Wednesday, 12 May 2010

'Five terrorists killed' in raids in Indonesia'

JAKARTA (AFP) – Five suspected terrorists were killed in two raids in Indonesia on Wednesday, police said, during the latest in a series of anti-terror operations nationwide.

The men were linked to a terrorist training facility that was discovered in Aceh province in February, triggering a number of police raids that have left dozens of suspects killed or captured, a police spokesman said.

"Five were killed and one arrested," spokesman Edward Aritonang told reporters. "We suspect they were planning to launch a terror attack within the next few weeks."

Three were shot dead around noon (0500 GMT) as they got out of a taxi in Cawang, East Jakarta, he said.

One was identified as Maulana, alias Mukhlis, who had trained with Islamic separatists in the Philippines and had been jailed under Malaysia's Internal Security Act.

"Maulana had just got out of the car but he tried to escape so police shot him. He was with two other terror suspects whose identities are still under investigation," Aritonang said.

Another two were killed two hours later in a raid on a suspected militant hideout in the West Java city of Cikampek, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Jakarta.

Aritonang said one of the suspects killed in the second raid was Saptono, who was involved in a suicide car bomb attack which killed 10 people outside the Australian embassy in 2004.

"They were linked to the terrorist training facility in Aceh," he said.

"In the two raids police have seized a number of firearms, including AKs and M-16 (assault rifles) and a huge amount of bullets," he added.

On March 9 police killed the alleged leader of the Aceh group, Dulmatin, who was considered one of the masterminds of the 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali that killed 202 people, mostly Western tourists.

He had been a leader of regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) but analysts believe the Aceh group was a new, more extreme outfit which combined militants from various Islamist organisations around Southeast Asia.

JI, an Al-Qaeda-inspired group whose mission is to create a Muslim caliphate across Southeast Asia, is blamed for multiple incidents across Indonesia including the 2002 carnage in Bali and attacks on Jakarta hotels last year.

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