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Indonesia arrests dozens of terror suspects ahead of poll results

AFP  |  Jakarta 

said Friday that they have arrested dozens of Islamic-State linked terror suspects, including some who planned to detonate bombs at political demonstrations when election results are announced next week.

Some 29 suspects were rounded up this month alone, with 60 in all detained since the start of the year in raids across the Southeast Asian nation, they said.

Eight other suspects had been killed in confrontations with authorities, police said, including the wife of a militant who blew up herself and a child following a dramatic standoff at their home in March.

Some arrested suspects were and had fought alongside the group in Syria, as well as members of (JAD), police said.

JAD has pledged allegiance to IS and was blamed for a wave of suicide bombings at churches in Indonesia's second-biggest city last year.

The world's biggest Muslim majority nation has seen a string of attacks by Islamist militants since the 2002 bombings, which killed more than 200 people, including scores of tourists.

on Friday described the latest arrests as a "preventative strike" before the official announcement of Indonesian elections, which were held on April 17.

There are concerns about street demonstrations after presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto, a retired military general, warned that protests could erupt over his claims of massive electoral fraud.

Subianto has vowed not to recognise next week's results if they hand a re-election victory to Joko Widodo, who has a lead of about 12 percentage points, according to unofficial polls.

Police said militants wanted to take advantage of any political unrest to spark chaos by using use WiFi to remotely detonate bomb-filled backpacks at crowded demonstrations.

"So we're urging the public not to go out on the streets on May 22 because it could be dangerous as they (the suspects) wanted to attack crowds and police officers," he told reporters in the capital

Some 32,000 security personnel are expected to fan out across the capital next week, including in front of the

Subianto has attacked the Commission over allegations it was complicit in widespread electoral fraud.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 15:21 IST
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