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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Indonesian police in shootout with militants

JAKARTA, April 29 (Reuters) - Indonesian police exchanged fire with suspected militants on Saturday at what local media said was a Central Java hideout of one of Asia's most wanted militants, Noordin M. Top.

A police source who declined to be identified said police had a firefight with terrorism suspects in the town of Wonosobo, but he declined to comment on the reports about Top, a Malaysian national wanted over a string of bombing attacks in Indonesia.

"We opened fire and we have captured one and two were killed," he told Reuters, adding that police had yet to enter the premises where the suspects were hiding.

Without citing a source, state news agency Antara said one of the suspects was believed to be Top, a leading figure in the al Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiah.

The network is blamed for the Bali bombings in October 2002 that killed 202 people and a series of other attacks.

"There was an arrest around Wonosobo and Purworejo, Central Java. We'll just see the result later. The arrested person might just be a subordinate of Noordin," Antara quoted a local police officer as saying.

Last year police killed another top Jemaah Islamiah figure, Azahari, in a shootout.
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