Indonesian police kill four suspected militants


Jakarta : Indonesian police said Thursday that they killed four suspected Islamic militants in a siege on a house in Central Java province.

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Police began surrounding the house before midnight Wednesday on the outskirts of Solo city after arresting two men hours earlier, national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said.

Police fired shots and killed four people in the house, Soekarna said. A fifth person, a woman, survived the siege.

The spokesman said police seized eight sacks of explosive materials, firearms and a grenade from the house.

He declined to confirm television reports that one of those slain was Bagus Pranoto, also known as Urwah, a man sought in the July 17 suicide bombings of two Jakarta luxury hotels.

Nine people were killed and 53 wounded in the attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

On Thursday, two explosions were heard at dawn several hundred metres from the besieged house, reported Metro TV, which carried live coverage of the siege.

Local neighbourhood chief Suratmin, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying that the house was rented six months ago by a married couple in their 20s who both worked as teachers.

Police said they believe fugitive Malaysian-born militant Noordin Mohammad Top was the mastermind behind the July attacks and other bombings since 2003.

Last month police killed a man believed to have been involved in the hotel bombings in a raid on another house in Central Java.

That suspect was initially believed to be Noordin, but DNA tests later showed he was Ibrahim, a hotel florist whom police said helped plan the hotel bombings.