Indonesia police: 6 militants killed in gun battle

Indonesian police said Saturday they killed six suspected members of a group loyal to Islamic State militants following a failed ambush of officers. The group, formed in 2015, was designated by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organisation three months ago. The group, which has been blamed for a series of recent attacks in Indonesia including one in Jakarta last January, is estimated to have drawn hundreds of ISIS sympathisers in Indonesia.

Amar explained the standoff started around 10 am on Saturday when two Tuban traffic police approached a auto stopped near their post.

There were seven men in the vehicle. Back then, a gun and bomb attack, claimed by Daesh, left four attackers and four civilians dead in the capital. "The two officers missed the shots and informed their colleagues to pursue the gunmen", he said. Six of the seven men were eventually shot dead by mobile brigade and counter-terrorism police. Nobody was injured but a auto chase ensued.

Police arrested one of the members of the group.

"They had acted on Anshori's order as a revenge of his arrest", said Rikwanto, citing police interrogation of other arrested militants.

Police said they seized dozens of rounds of ammunition, several firearms, knives, jihadi books and a vehicle.

Separately, the National Police's counter-terrorism squad, Densus 88, arrested an Indonesian citizen allegedly linked to the ISIS at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday. No casualties were reported on the side of the police forces.

JAD, which is on a USA state department "terrorist" list, is estimated to have drawn hundreds of ISIL sympathisers in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population.

Following the numerous recent IS-linked plots that have been botched or foiled in the country, analysts say that many of the militants lack the capacity to launch serious attacks.

  • Joey Payne