Indonesian police kill 2 militants after raid on house in Java

Indonesian anti-terror officers patrolling the streets of Jakarta on Dec 25, 2016.
Indonesian anti-terror officers patrolling the streets of Jakarta on Dec 25, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA (Reuters, AFP) – Indonesian police killed two suspected Islamist militants on Sunday (Dec 25) in a gunfight during a raid on a house in West Java, a police spokesman said.  

Two men had been arrested in Cibinong and led police to a house at the Jatiluhur dam, national police spokesman Awi Setiyono said.

The pair were fatally shot at a house in Purwakarta 100km east of Jakarta after allegedly resisting arrest.  

"We ordered them to surrender and even fired warning shots, but they resisted and started to attack our officers with machetes, so we had to take them down," Setiyono told AFP.

Police seized some weapons and a letter which said the group had planned to launch an attack at an undisclosed location on new year’s eve, West Java police spokesman Yusri Yunus told Metro TV.  

A police bomb squad was still scanning the area for any explosives, Yunus added.

Police said the suspects and the dead men were members of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah group, a local militant outfit which supports the Islamic State group (ISIS) and was responsible for a November attack on a church which killed a toddler on Borneo island.  

"Their target is to attack police officers, in police posts or even at home. They wanted to attack with sharp weapons such as knives and machetes," Setiyono said.

Earlier this week, Indonesian anti-terrorism police killed three suspects in a gunbattle on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, and said they had foiled a suicide bombing planned for the end of the year.  

Police have arrested dozens of suspected militants in recent months, including a cell on Batam island that planned a rocket attack on neighbouring Singapore.  

Indonesia has foiled at least 14 attacks this year alone and made more than 150 arrests.  

A gun and bomb assault in the heart of Jakarta in January 2016 killed four people and was the first attack in Southeast Asia claimed by Islamic State extremists.

Indonesia will to deploy 85,000 police and 15,000 military personel for the Christmas and New Year period, police said. 

The South-east Asian nation suffered a string of deadly homegrown attacks during the 2000s, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed over 200 people.  

A sustained crackdown has weakened many of the most dangerous extremist networks but there have been fears of a resurgence in militancy.