Indonesian police say they have killed three suspects in a gunfight on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, where they also found explosives.
National Police spokesman Rikwanto said they raided a house rented by the suspects in a residential compound in Tangerang, south of Jakarta, on Wednesday.
“During the raid, we tried to be careful but they threw something from inside the house and it was a bomb but it did not explode. Then they fired from inside,” Rikwanto said, adding that information obtained from another individual who had been arrested in the neighborhood earlier led them to the house.
Police evacuated the residential neighborhood after finding the explosives in the house.
“Inside the house, we found a bigger bomb and now we are investigating it to try to detonate it,” Rikwanto said. Television footage showed an officer wearing a blast-resistant suit entering the house.
Rikwanto said terrorists use Christmas and New Year’s events every year for terror attacks. He said police did not ruled out the possibility of such attacks this year.
Authorities believe the suspects were linked to several militants arrested earlier this month in the east of Jakarta, where they were working on a plan to carry out an attack on a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace.
That plot was orchestrated by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with allegiance to the Daesh terrorist group. Daesh claimed responsibility for an attack that claimed the lives of eight people in Jakarta in January.
Indonesia has launched a crackdown on terrorists since bombings through the Kuta area of the tourist island of Bali killed more than 200 people in October 2002. It has been facing a renewed threat over the past several years from Daesh-affiliated militants. Daesh emerged in 2014.
On Wednesday, Australia issued a warning to travelers to Indonesia, saying the terrorist threat level in the Asian country remained high.