Indonesia Police Kill 5 Suspected Militants

Posted March 18th, 2012 at 9:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Indonesian authorities say police on the resort island of Bali killed five suspected militants who were planning to carry out attacks, including robberies, against targets across the island.

The authorities said all five suspects died late Sunday in shootouts with police. They described the sites as typical terrorist targets and said police confiscated two firearms and dozens of bullets.

Media reports say members of the elite Detachment 88 counter-terrorism force were involved in the operation.

The five are believed to be connected to a group of suspected terrorists allegedly involved in a killing of a police officer during a bank robbery in Medan, North Sumatra province, in late 2010. The group was reportedly trying to raise money to fund its activities.

The killings follow the beginning of a trial last month of Umar Patek, an Islamic militant suspected of making bombs used in the 2002 Bali attack that killed more than 200 people, many of them Australian tourists.

Patek is charged with premeditated murder and several other counts, including bomb-making and illegal firearms possession. He also faces similar charges for his alleged role in deadly attacks on Christian churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve of 2000.