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Six terror suspects shot dead

Indonesia's elite anti-terrorism squad shot and killed six suspected militants and arrested another amid New Year's Eve celebrations in an all-night stand-off at a house near the country's capital.

Intelligence gathered from earlier arrests allowed police to storm hideouts in Ciputat on Jakarta's outskirts as part of an investigation into an alleged plot to bomb the Burma Embassy and a Buddhist temple, said National Police spokesman Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar.

The nine-hour-long shootout started late last night when most Indonesians were preparing to celebrate the end of the year and ended this morning. Mr Amar said those killed had refused to surrender and had fired guns and lobbed home-made bombs at security forces, injuring one police officer in his leg.

He said the men were suspected of being part of a larger group involved in robberies used to fund terrorist activities, mainly aimed at police.

They were also linked to terrorist group led by Abu Wardah Santoso - on the police's most wanted list - in Poso, a flashpoint of terrorism in Central Sulawesi where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.

"There is a strong indication that they were involved in a series of police killings," Mr Amar said, adding police found at least six home-made bombs at the house.

Police also confiscated guns and materials used for making bombs.

Police were trying to determine whether the men killed in the raid were connected to an alleged plot in May against the Burma Embassy to retaliate against Burma for attacks on Muslims in that country.

"There are also printouts of addresses of about 20 to 30 Vihara (Buddhist temples) we believed to be their targets," Mr Amar said.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Burma has killed scores of people, and tens of thousands of Muslims have been driven from their homes.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has been battling terrorists since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

AP

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