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Indonesian Security Forces on Alert for Possible Terrorist Attacks

  • VOA News

Thousands of troops are on guard throughout Indonesia as Christians in that mostly Muslim country celebrate Christmas.

Sixty-one-thousand security personnel are deployed there over the next two weeks to protect churches and other possible terrorist targets. In Jakarta alone, an estimated 17-thousand security officers are on duty, some of them dressed like Santa Claus.

Bomb squads went through Jakarta's main cathedral on Saturday, along with other churches in the capital.

Officials were concerned that the Islamist extremist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, might use the Christmas and New Year holiday period to retaliate for Indonesia's killing of the group's bomb-making expert (Azahari Husin) last month.

Church bombings in Indonesia on Christmas Eve (December 24th) five years ago killed 19 people. Officials suspect Jemaah Islamiyah carried out those attacks.
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