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Indonesia arrests man linked to attack on Philippines city

Indonesian police said they have arrested a man on suspicion of helping Indonesians to join Islamic militants who overran a city in the southern Philippines and two others who allegedly helped inspire a double suicide bombing in Jakarta.

National police spokesman Martinus Sitompul said a man arrested in the city of Yogyakarta in Central Java on Tuesday is suspected of facilitating Indonesians to travel to Mindanao where they joined Islamic State group-affiliated militants who still occupy parts of Marawi more than two weeks after their initial attack.

Police only gave the man's initials and said four of those he helped are currently being sought by Philippine authorities.

West Java police spokesman Yusri Yunus said two other men were captured in the city of Bandung on Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in suicide bombings on May 24 which killed three policemen and the two suicide bombers.

The audacious attack on Marawi, and the participation of foreign fighters, has been a wake-up call for south-east Asian governments about the potential of the southern Philippine region to become a magnet for Islamic State group sympathisers as it loses territory it controlled in Syria and Iraq.

The militants in Marawi are believed by Philippine authorities to still be holding a Catholic priest and many other hostages.

The Philippines military says those killed since the fighting broke out on May 23 include 20 civilians, 134 militants and 39 government troops. More than 1,500 civilians have been rescued.

AP

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