Medan (Indonesia): Indonesia`s anti-terrorism
squad has shot dead three suspected terrorists and arrested 15
others during tense raids in which some of the suspects used
women and children as human shields, police said.
Police Chief Gen Bambang Hendarso Danuri said yesterday
the men were wanted for a series of armed robberies on banks
and money-changers that had netted more than USD 127,000 since
April to buy weapons and finance acts of terror.
Details about the weekend raids, which took place in five
locations on Sumatra island, did not emerge until the chief
arrived at the scene to debrief officials, who had provided
conflicting accounts about the suspects and the nature of
The US-trained anti-terror unit in charge of the
operations has been criticised in recent months for its high
kill-to-capture ratio, one to four, with officers sometimes
shooting even unarmed suspects before they had been properly
Danuri said the raids occurred in a blaze of gunfire,
with suspects in some cases using women and children as human
"They committed the robbery to collect funds to buy
firearms and explosive materials to commit terror acts in
Indonesia," he told a news conference in Medan.
Indonesia, the world`s most populous Muslim nation, has
been hit by a string of terrorist attacks since 2002, when
Jemaah Islamiyah militants targeted two crowded nightclubs on
the resort island of Bali, killing 202 people.
Attacks on hotels, embassies and restaurants since then
have killed another 60 people.
Just as the country was enjoying a lull in bombings,
thanks in part to the arrest and convictions of hundreds of
militants, authorities in February discovered a new cell on
Sumatra, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid.
Danuri said those arrested over the weekend acknowledged
to belonging to Al-Qaida, Jemaah Islamiyah or JAT.
Several weapons were seized in the raids, including an
FN-45 rifle and 1.5 kilograms of TNT, which was ready to be
assembled into a bomb, Danuri added.