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Indonesia police kill suspected militant, arrest 2

October 17, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism squad shot and killed one suspect and arrested two others in a raid Thursday in the east of the country, seizing weapons and fertilizer allegedly for bomb making from a group suspected of planning terrorist attacks, police said.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said three men in a van resisted arrest in Bone district in South Sulawesi province for alleged connection to a group responsible for recent attacks on police in Poso, a district in the neighboring province of Central Sulawesi. Authorities fatally shot one of the men, he said.

He said police seized two guns, ammunition and about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of fertilizer, a material often used by militants to make bombs, and were interrogating the two suspects.

More than 1,000 people died in Poso in 2001 and 2002 in violence between Christians and Muslims. Authorities believe the district is now a terrorist hotbed.

Indonesia has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Terrorist attacks aimed at foreigners have been largely replaced in recent years by smaller, less deadly strikes targeting the government, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.

Indonesian police have been criticized for shooting suspected terrorists rather than trying to arrest them. Authorities respond that they are forced to shoot to defend themselves.

Since January, police have killed at least 21 suspected militants and arrested 32.

Update hourly