Elite Indonesia squad arrests 10 suspected Islamic militants

JAKARTA Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:21am EDT

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's anti-terrorist squad arrested 10 suspected Islamic radicals and seized a dozen home-made bombs from a group planning attacks against security forces and the government, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

The arrests by the elite Detachment 88 police squad were the latest sign of a weeks-long crackdown by authorities against militants. They come almost 10 years after a bomb attack on Bali killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Nine people were arrested in Solo, in the center of Java island, and another was caught in Melawi in a central region of Borneo island, national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.

"In an overnight raid on Saturday, the special squad in Solo also found homemade bombs and explosive materials in their houses. They defused a bomb afterwards," he told Reuters by telephone.

Amar said two suspects arrested in Solo had been recruiting young men and instructing them how to make bombs. The arrests in Solo led police to make the arrest in Melawi, he said.

The tenth suspect was rounded up in Solo on Sunday.

Indonesia has arrested more than 30 militant suspects since March and killed seven in raids across the country. All were alleged to have been plotting attacks against Indonesians.

The Bali bombings represented a watershed for Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, forcing the secular state to confront the presence of violent militants.

(Reporting by Chris Nusatya; Editing by Matthew Bigg and Ron Popeski)

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