Indonesian police kill 5 militants suspects, including 2 linked to bombings

By Niniek Karmini, AP
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Indonesian police kill 5 militant suspects

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Five suspected Islamic militants, including one of the most-wanted men in Indonesia, were killed Wednesday in shootouts with anti-terror squads in raids in and around the capital, police said.

The raids are the latest in a series since police broke up a terrorist training camp in western Indonesia run by a new group calling itself al-Qaida in Aceh.

National police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri told reporters that two fugitives, Ahmad Maulana and Saptono, were among those killed in a raid in Cikampek, about 45 miles (80 kilometers) east of Jakarta.

Saptono, who used just one name, was one of Indonesia’s 25 most-wanted people.

The two were wanted for their involvement in several bombings and planned attacks in Indonesia, including a 2004 suicide bombing at the Australian Embassy. Danuri said they were also believed to have allied themselves with al-Qaida in Aceh.

He said three other militants were killed in another raid in eastern Jakarta on Wednesday. Police also seized guns and thousands of bullets from the hideouts.

Danuri also said that police had arrested 12 suspected Islamic militants during raids in recent days in Jakarta.

“They have been involved in illegal military training at the new terror group in Aceh and they are dangerous,” Danuri said of those targeted in this week’s raids.

Saptono was suspected of involvement in the 2004 embassy attack in which eight people and the bomber were killed. Police say he may have taken over command of al-Qaida in Aceh following the March death of master bomb maker Dulmatin.

Maulana is known to have undertaken militant training at a camp of the militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines in 2002 and 2003. He was detained in Malaysia in December 2003 and held for five years before being deported back to Indonesia in 2008. He was known to have been training at the camp in Aceh, police said.

Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population, is fighting militant extremist groups, also including Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional offshoot of al-Qaida.

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