JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesian police said they killed three suspected militants in a raid Wednesday on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta and found several bombs which they are trying to defuse.
National Police spokesman Rikwanto told MetroTV that the residential neighborhood has been evacuated. Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said the group was a planning an attack on New Year's Eve.
Rikwanto said the three men killed had tried to resist arrest and threw explosives at police as they raided the house, which is in a leafy middle-class residential compound in Tangerang, a Jakarta satellite city. One person was arrested.
Rikwanto, who uses one name, said police believe those involved in the plot are linked to several militants arrested Dec. 10 on the outskirts of Jakarta who were planning a suicide bomb attack on a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace the next day.
Police have attributed that foiled plot, in which a woman was to be the suicide bomber, to Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria.
They also say Naim was behind a bomb lab that was raided last month in West Java and contained enough explosive materials to make bombs three times more powerful than those used in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
But a new threat has emerged in the past several years from militants who have switched allegiance to the Islamic State group and from new recruits.
An attack in Jakarta in January by IS sympathizers killed eight people, including the attackers.
The Australian government's advice to travelers, updated Wednesday, said the terrorist threat level in Indonesia remains high. It notes that authorities have arrested people who were allegedly in the advanced states of attack planning.