Indonesia on security alert as police probe attacks

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Jakarta, Jan 15: Army trucks thundered through Indonesia's capital on Friday as authorities boosted security at possible terror targets and probed a suspected Islamic State cell blamed for Jakarta's deadly terror attacks.

A series of bombings and subsequent gun battles yesterday between the attackers and police in a busy part of the capital lined with malls and foreign missions left two civilians and five attackers dead.

Also read: Police arrest 3 men on suspicion of links to Jakarta attack

Indonesia on security alert after attack

Police in the world's most populous Muslim country have blamed the carnage on a network of Islamic State fighters from Southeast Asia forged in the radical jihadist group's war in Syria and Iraq. "An alert has been imposed throughout Indonesia," said national police spokesman Anton Charliyan.

"National police are on their highest alert, especially in areas considered targets of terror, like police stations, government offices, embassies, with army backup."

He did not elaborate on the army's role but AFP reporters saw a passing convoy of a half-dozen military trucks filled with heavily armed soldiers in central Jakarta, and heightened security elsewhere, with police patrolling in flak jackets.

A police car and a half-dozen officers were seen guarding the French embassy near the attack site. Charliyan added police would be conducting raids Friday as they probe those responsible for the bloodshed, which spilled out in dramatic fashion on a bustling street in the mid-morning. He declined to offer further details on the planned raids.

The assault left five attackers, a Canadian and an Indonesian man dead and 20 others injured, according to police, in what the country's president called "acts of terror". Police have singled out Indonesian extremist Bahrum Naim as being behind the planning.

Naim, believed to be in Syria, is said by authorities to be a founding member of Katibah Nusantara, the grouping of Southeast Asian fighters there.

Terror analysts warn that the group, believed to include fighters predominantly from Indonesia but also Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, has threatened for more than a year to bring the jihad home. Indonesian authorities were yet to offer concrete details from their investigations.

Muhammad Iqbal, Jakarta's police spokesman, told AFP authorities were working to establish the identities and connections of the dead attackers.

PTI

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