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'Indonesia still threatened by terrorism'

world Updated: Aug 15, 2008 13:03 IST

AP
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Indonesia's President warned on Friday that terrorism is still a threat to the world's most populous Muslim country, which has not suffered a major attack in nearly three years following a crackdown on Islamic militants.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in a State of the Union address before Parliament that "our country is still unsafe from terrorist acts," although efforts to overcome extremism "have shown an encouraging progress."

"Various achievements are very heartening to all of us, but we must continue to heighten our vigilance," he said, praising authorities for arresting and prosecuting hundreds of suspected Islamic militants.

The arrests highlighted the lingering threat in Indonesia, which has been thrust onto the front lines in the war on terrorism in recent years by a string of attacks.

Regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for a series of bombings in Indonesia, including those on Bali island in 2002 and 2005, as well as Jakarta's JW Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in the 2003 and 2004.

More than 240 people were killed in those attacks, many of them foreign tourists.

Lawyers for three Islamic militants on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings asked Indonesia's Constitutional Court on Thursday to reconsider the method of their executions in an effort to delay their deaths, which are now expected by month's end.

In July, police said they thwarted a planned bombing of a cafe on Sumatra island after discovering a cache of powerful explosives, many packed with bullets to maximise the impact.

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