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Terrorism Mastermind Killed During Police Raid in Indonesia

Indonesian police say that Noordin Mohammad Top, the alleged mastermind of the July 17 hotel bombings in Jakarta has been killed during a police raid.

Indonesian Police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri made the announcement Thursday afternoon in a nationally televised news conference. He says Noordin Top was among the four people killed in the police raid on a militant hideout in Indonesia's Central Java province Thursday.

However, the police are being careful and will do further tests to confirm the death.

Danuri says they are 100 percent sure that the fingerprints match but they will have to wait 30 hours for DNA testing to confirm the results.

Several weeks ago, police mistakenly said Noordin had been killed in another raid.

Noordin was the alleged mastermind of the suicide bombings at two Jakarta hotels in July, which killed seven people and wounded more than 50.

He led a breakaway faction of the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, which has carried out a string of bombings in Indonesia in recent years. J.I. has links with al-Qaida.

Police say they tracked seven suspects to a house on the outskirts of the town of Solo in Central Java. They raided the house in the early hours of the morning. Gunfire and an explosion followed. In the end, four suspects were killed and three were captured.

Police found large quantities of explosives, and weapons at the house.

They also say the dead included an alleged bomb-maker named Bagus Budi Pranato, who was wanted in connection with the hotel attacks.

Solo is considered a stronghold for hard-line Islamist groups.

Sidney Jones is a terrorism expert with the International Crisis Group in Jakarta. She says the raid demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement and the serious investigative work done to find the perpetrators of the bombing and dismantle their terror network.

"This isn't something that happens on the spur of the moment. It takes a great deal of planning and I think it is an indication the police are determined and doggedly pursuing the leads they got," said Jones.

Several suspects have been detained or gunned down in raids in recent weeks, but police say they will continue to pursue other militants believed to be involved in terrorist activities.