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Indonesia cannot relax militant fight: Australia PM

CANBERRA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The shooting of Indonesia's most wanted militant was a step forward in the fight against regional extremism, Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Friday, while cautioning Jakarta against relaxing the struggle.

"This man has been a mass-murderer. He has been responsible for the murder of Australians, and I congratulate the Indonesians on their success," Rudd told Australian radio.

"However, it doesn't leave us in a position where we can feel complacent about the future. (Regional militant network) Jemaah Islamiah is alive and well, al Qaeda is still alive and well," Rudd said.

Malaysian-born Noordin Mohammad Top, who set up a violent splinter group of regional militant network Jemaah Islamiah, was killed in a police shoot-out in Central Java, police said on Thursday, ending a five-year manhunt.

Top was considered the mastermind of the bomb attacks on two luxury hotels in Jakarta in July, as well as other attacks in Bali and in Jakarta which killed scores of Westerners and Indonesians, including 95 Australians.

But counter-terrorism analysts have warned that Indonesian militant networks will quickly recover from his death, which removed a major security threat ahead of a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Rudd said Australian authorities, including police advising Indonesian counter-terrorism forces, would urge Jakarta to reinforce the fight against militancy in the wake of Top's death.

"We cannot afford to be complacent and I believe the Indonesians fully understand and accept that themselves, given their own recent experience," Rudd said. (Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Jonathan Standing)

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