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Police in eastern Indonesia killed two suspected militants and arrested nine others believed to have been involved in the shooting of two law enforcement officers who had just taken their children to school, an official said Thursday. Police spokesperson Setyo Warsito said the counterterrorism squad fatally shot Muhammad Amir and another man identified only as Yaman on Monday in Bima, a hilly district in East Nusa Tenggara province. He said the nine others were arrested in raids in the same area on Wednesday.
He said Amir is believed to have shot and wounded a policeman on Sept. 11 outside a school in Bima where he had just dropped off his child, and that Yaman allegedly drove the motorbike on which Amir was riding. Warsito said one of the arrested men is believed to have wounded another police officer who had just delivered his child to another school.
Warsito said the men are members of militant group named Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid, a splinter cell of the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah. Police seized two handmade guns and ammunitions from them.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has been battling extremism since 2002, when militants linked to Jemaah Islamiyah began attacking Western nightclubs, restaurants and embassies. Attacks at nightclubs on the tourist island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
However, in recent years, smaller and less deadly strikes have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces which have led a crackdown in which hundreds of suspected militants have been jailed or killed. The arrests came a week after police arrested nine suspected militants on the islands of Sulawesi, Sumatra and Java, including an alleged bomb maker who had eluded capture for five years over a failed attempt to kill South Sulawesi’s governor.
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