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'Recent Indonesia raids stopped 20 bombings'

Written by: Staff

Jakarta, Mar 23: Anti-terror raids on several hideouts of suspected Islamic militants in Indonesia's Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces this week have prevented 20 attacks, a police spokesman today said.

Indonesian police arrested six suspected militants, shot dead another and found caches of ammunition and explosive materials belonging to Southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in several places on Java island in recent days, said national police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto.

''With the discovery of 20 active bombs, police actions have averted at least 20 bombings,'' he told a news conference.

Police also found large quantities of chemicals that could be used for making bombs along with scores of bullets and several firearms when they raided a Central Java house on Wednesday.

Adiwinoto added one of the raids this week led to the arrest of Mujadid, a militant suspect wanted for his alleged links to bombings near the Australian embassy in Jakarta and at a market in a Christian enclave in Sulawesi island's Poso region.

Adiwinoto denied rumours that Abu Dujana, the leader of Jemaah Islamiah, was arrested this week. He is wanted in connection with the 2004 Australian embassy blast and a car bombing at Jakarta's JW Marriott Hotel a year earlier.

Jemaah Islamiah is also blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

Indonesia has already arrested hundreds for involvement in those attacks or with links to the group.

Authorities say several important militant leaders remain at large. Finding them is complicated by the operation of individual cells whose members do not necessarily know about the activities of others, and by ideological and tactical splits.

An estimated 85 per cent of Indonesians are Muslims. Most are considered moderate, but a militant minority has been increasingly vocal.


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