- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Members of Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism squad fatally shot two suspected militants and arrested two others during a raid Sunday on the main island of Java.

The suspects were shot by the anti-terror unit after refusing an appeal from authorities to surrender from their safe house at Jatiluhur reservoir in West Java’s Purwakarta district, said National police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto.

The arrest came amid a security crackdown in several cities on Java after police arrested a would-be suicide bomber and other suspected Islamic militants who were allegedly planning a holiday season suicide bombing earlier this month.

Rikwanto, who goes by one name, said two suspects were captured alive, including one who was injured and taken to a police hospital in the capital, Jakarta.

He said police seized several machetes and documents from the suspects’ floating house near the reservoir, including a will in which they stated that they had pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State group and wished to take part in suicide attacks.

Three suspected militants who were allegedly planning a New Year’s Eve suicide bombing were killed in a gunbattle this past week on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Police said the holiday season plot was uncovered during the interrogation of militants arrested Dec. 10 who were planning a suicide bomb attack on a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta the next day.

Police have said that foiled plot, in which a woman was to be the suicide bomber, was orchestrated by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria. They also say Naim was behind a bomb lab that was raided last month in West Java and contained enough explosive materials to make bombs three times more powerful than those used in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

The government has increased security across Indonesia. It has deployed 150,000 security personnel to safeguard churches, airports and other public places in a national security sweep.

Indonesia has suffered a spate of deadly attacks by the Jemaaah Islamiyah network in the past. But strikes in recent years have been smaller and less deadly and have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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