5 suspected terrorists killed in Indonesia: police

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 05 2013 05:55 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2013 04:30 PM

JAKARTA - Five suspected terrorists were killed in raids on militant camps in eastern Indonesia in the latest in a series of anti-terror operations, police said Saturday.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the raids took place late Friday and Saturday morning on two separate militant training camps in West Nusa Tenggara province.

"Police were forced to open fire as they (the militants) have explosive material. They used the locations to assemble bombs," the spokesman said, adding that five pipe-bombs and materials to make explosive devices such as nitrate urea powder, scores of nails and batteries were seized during the operations.

The raids came after police on Friday killed two suspected Islamic militants carrying a handgun and grenades, and arrested four others, in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province.

"This is part of the terror group in Poso," Amar said of the latest raids, referring to a restive district in Central Sulawesi province known for being a hotbed of extremism, where militants run a training camp and have been involved in several police killings.

Police had said the group was led by the country's most wanted terror suspect, Santoso, who trained groups of young militants to launch guerrilla attacks against security forces.

Police have beefed up security in the Poso region since late last year after two police officers investigating the camp were found dead and buried in a hole with their throats slit, and several small bomb plots were subsequently foiled.

Indonesia was rocked by a series of deadly terror attacks targeted at Westerners over last decade, with most -- including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people -- blamed on the Al-Qaeda-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah.

But a crackdown on terrorism has weakened key militant groups and only low-impact attacks have been carried out in recent years by networks targeting law enforcement officers.