News / Asia

Indonesia Arrests 3 Terror Suspects

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Indonesia says it has arrested three more members of a terrorist network linked to the August bombing of a Buddhist temple in Jakarta.

Police say the three, arrested Sunday in Java, are suspected members of the Abu Umar terrorist group.

In addition to the bombing of the Jakarta temple, which injured one person, the group is also accused of involvement in a jewelry store robbery and plotting to conduct acts of violence in connection with Christmas and New Year's Day.

Indonesian National Police Chief, Police General Sutarman says in an interview with VOA's Indonesian service that authorities are ready for those who seek to disrupt the Christian holiday.

"We have indications of several movements from one area to another.  It is likely that they are building home made bombs.  I would like to plea to them not to break the law, and we will take hard actions to those who threaten public safety," said  Sutarman.

Abu Umar, the leader of the terrorist group, is serving a 10 year prison sentence for smuggling weapons into Indonesia. But his group is suspected of continuing attacks on non-Muslims, as well as common criminal acts such as robbery.

It is not known if any of the suspects have been be charged in connection with the Buddhist temple bombing.

Violence against Muslim Rohingyas in Burma, also known as Myanmar, is believed to be the motivation for a bomb attack on the Buddhist temple in Jakarta. Earlier this year, Indonesia foiled a plan to bomb the Burmese embassy in Jakarta.

Sectarian violence in Burma has left about 200 people dead and 140,000 displaced across the country during the past year.  Last month, Jakarta urged Rangoon to grant legal status to the country’s Muslim Rohingya and  take action to end inter-communal violence.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Indonesian Service

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