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Indonesia anti-terror squad kills two suspected militants

Jakarta: Indonesia's anti-terrorist squad killed two suspected militants in an overnight raid in the city of Solo on Java island, part of an ongoing campaign against militants prompted by the Bali bombings, whose ten-year anniversary falls next month.

A member of the elite Detachment 88 police squad died in the shootout and another suspected militant was arrested in a separate location east of Solo, national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said on Saturday.

Reuters

The alleged militants, who were in their late teens and came from East Java province, returned to Indonesia in 2012 after two years of paramilitary training in the southern Philippines, Amar said.

They were linked to arms smuggling from the Philippines and to the Abu Sayyaf militant group, said police spokesman Anang Iskandar, adding that they were responsible for a grenade strike on a police post in Solo in August among other attacks.

The Bali bombings in October 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, and represented a watershed for Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population. The attack forced the secular state to confront the presence of violent militants.

In the crackdown since then, militant groups have splintered, and their major attacks been restricted to raids on security forces and government officials, aside from suicide bombings at two luxury hotels in Jakarta in 2009.

Reuters