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JAKARTA | Terror suspects arrested Thursday led police to a 330-pound bomb buried beneath a gas pipeline near a church just outside Indonesia’s capital, officials said.

Senior security minister Djoko Suyanto said he believed Islamic militants had been plotting an attack ahead of Easter celebrations, and the U.S. embassy urged Americans to be vigilant.

“The army and police are under high alert,” he told reporters, adding that troops would be deployed at churches and other strategic locations. “We want to guarantee safety.”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has been battling extremists since 2002, when al Qaeda-linked militants attacked two nightclubs on Bali island, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

There have been several attacks since then targeting glitzy hotels, restaurants and an embassy, killing another 60. Hundreds of suspects have been arrested, convicted and thrown in jail.

In recent months, small bands of militants hoping to turn the secular nation of 237 million into an Islamic state have shifted their focus to local “enemies.”


Detainees set fire to immigration center

SYDNEY | Asylum seekers and other detainees at an Australian immigration center set fire to several buildings, climbed onto rooftops and hurled tiles at officials who were scrambling on Thursday to end the chaotic protest.

Up to 100 people being held at Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Center were involved in the riot, which began Wednesday night when two detainees climbed onto a roof, immigration officials said.

Protesters set an oxygen cylinder alight, which led to an explosion, and fire gutted nine buildings - including a medical center and dining hall. Firefighters brought the blaze under control early Thursday, and no one was injured.

About 400 people are held at Villawood. Many of them are asylum seekers, but the facility also houses people who have overstayed their visas.


VP praises outgoing U.S. ambassador

BEIJING | China’s expected future leader praised outgoing U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Thursday amid talk of the former Utah governor launching a presidential run.

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