Indonesia arrests six over 'book bombs'

INDONESIAN police today arrested six people suspected of being behind a series of recent parcel-bombs in Jakarta, they said, as another device was found near a church in the morning.

"We arrested six people at 8.10am AEST," national police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam told reporters.

"We're still investigating their possible links with terror groups," he said.

The men, held in anti-terror raids on two rented houses in East Jakarta, were believed to be connected to mysterious deliveries of bombs hidden in hollowed-out books last month, an unnamed police source told AFP.

The "book bombs" were sent to several addresses including those of liberal Muslim figures and a counter-terrorism official, but no one was killed.

Another parcel bomb was found today morning near a church in Serpong on the outskirts of Jakarta, local police chief Heribertus Ompusunggu told AFP.

"The bomb was placed on an empty plot with a gas pipe running underground. We're trying to remove it," he said.

Indonesia has been rocked by a series of bombings staged by regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in recent years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

Local resident Mohammed Syarif, 32, detonated explosives strapped to his body at a police mosque in Cirebon, West Java province, last Friday as worshippers began their prayers, killing himself and injuring 30 others.

The attack was the first suicide bombing inside a mosque in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation of 240 million people.

Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) on Tuesday pointed to a new trend of small violent groups adopting "individual jihad" aimed at local "enemies", including police and Christians.

Jakarta police are deploying 20,000 officers to safeguard Easter celebrations in the capital tomorrow.
 
 
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