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Indonesia police kill three suspected militants in raid

Three suspected militants have been killed by Indonesian police in a raid on the outskirts of Jakarta, and officers found several bombs which they are trying to defuse.

National Police spokesman Rikwanto told MetroTV on Wednesday that the residential neighbourhood has been evacuated.

He said one person was arrested in the raid.

Police believe those involved in the plot are linked to several militants arrested on December 10 in another area on the outskirts of Jakarta who were planning a suicide bomb attack on a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace the next day.

Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2002 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.

The men who were killed had been planning a holiday season suicide bombing, Jakarta police chief Mochamad Iriawan said.

They planned to stage their attack on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve, he said in a televised interview from the neighbourhood. They were to stab police officers in order to attract a crowd and then detonate bombs, he said.

The three men were killed in a gun battle with the police's anti-terror squad after refusing an appeal from authorities to surrender and come out of the house in a leafy residential compound in Tangerang, a Jakarta satellite city.

Rikwanto said the men threw explosives and fired guns at police. A fourth man, who was arrested in the neighbourhood, had led police to the house used by the militants.

"Every year, Christmas and New Year's events are the target of terrorists to carry out amaliyah," Rikwanto told a press conference, using an Arabic term that is used for suicide bombing in militant circles.

The Australian government's advice to travellers, updated on 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.

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