Bali: Indonesian troops carried out an
anti-terrorism drill on the resort island of Bali,
drawing curious onlookers as black-clad soldiers leapt from
helicopters outside the international airport and blasted
through windows to release dozens of "hostages".
The six-minute exercise - carried out jointly with
elite Australian forces - comes amid stepped-up efforts to
fight militants blamed for a string of deadly attacks in the
world`s most populous Muslim country.
Up until last month, the task belonged solely to
"The drill is aimed at improving our skills and
techniques for releasing hostages," said Maj Gen Lodewijk
Paulus, who heads the Indonesian special unit known as
Kopassus. "We`re ready to crush terrorists any time if
The secular country of 240 million has battled
Islamist militants with links to the Southeast Asian network
Jemaah Islamiyah since 2002, when suicide bombers attacked two
nightclubs on Bali, killing 202 people, many of them
Another 60 people have been killed since then in
attacks on Western embassies, glitzy hotels and beach-side
Adding to the worries of authorities, a new homegrown
terror cell, calling itself Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, was
discovered in February in westernmost Aceh province. It has
identified the country`s security forces as one of its main
An attack on a police post one week ago, blamed on
JAT, left three officers dead.
Television footage of today`s assault showed dozens of
tourists looking on from behind a chain fence as commandoes
dangled from six helicopters and then stormed a building near
the main terminal.
The troops shot at windows, leaving a trail of