Indonesian police shoot dead three suspected militants

Indonesian police officers are seen standing guard near the scene of a shooting in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on July 14, 2018.
Indonesian police officers are seen standing guard near the scene of a shooting in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on July 14, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/ANTARA FOTO

JAKARTA (REUTERS, XINHUA) - Indonesian anti-terrorism officers shot dead three suspected Islamic militants on Saturday (July 14) in the central Java city of Yogyakarta, police said.

National police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal said the officers from the elite unit had shot the suspects after being attacked with "sharp weapons and a firearm".

Two officers suffered arm wounds and police confiscated firearms, bullets, machetes, Iqbal added.

“As their resistance may threaten the lives of police and people around the scene, we took the firm action by shooting at them accurately that led to their deaths,” Iqbal said, adding that the event took place around 5.30pm local time in Yogyakarta’s busy area of Kaliurang Street.

Iqbal's statement said the men were believed to be members of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a loose grouping of hundreds of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathisers that is on a US State Department terrorist list.

Bodies of the terrorist suspects were now kept in Yogyakarta police hospital, Iqbal added.

The police also deployed anti-bomb squad of Gegana in the location shortly after bodies of the terrorist suspects were transported to the hospital.

“The operation to arrest those three ones were jointly carried out by the police’s anti-terror squad of Densus 88 and Yogyakarta police’s anti-crime task force,” said Yogyakarta's provincial police spokesman Yulianto.

Yulianto added the operation to arrest the terrorist suspects followed the arrests against two terrorist suspects in Yogyakarta suburbs of Mlati and Bantul on Wednesday. “We have monitored their movements prior to the arrest operation today,” he said.

Reports said that an accomplice of the three killed terrorist suspects managed to escape from the scene, and he fled the scene on a motorcycle.

Police were now taking efforts to pursue the fleeing person from the scene.

The majority-Muslim South-east Asian nation has faced a surge in homegrown Islamist militancy in recent years.

In May, around 30 people were killed in suicide bombings in Surabaya, the deadliest attack in over a decade.