Indonesia arrests two dozen people after knife attack on security minister Wiranto

Indonesia arrests two dozen people after knife attack on security minister Wiranto

Soldiers carry Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto
Soldiers carry Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto on a stretcher to a waiting helicopter to be evacuated to Jakarta, in Pandeglang, Banten province, Indonesia on Oct 10, 2019. (Photo: AP/Rafsanjani)

JAKARTA: Indonesian police said they have arrested more than two dozen suspected militants after members of a network linked to the Islamic State (IS) group tried to assassinate a government minister.

The world's biggest Muslim majority nation is on high alert ahead of President Joko Widodo's second-term inauguration on Sunday (Oct 20), with about 27,000 troops expected to be deployed in the capital Jakarta.

Authorities have also banned mass demonstrations in the lead up to Widodo's swearing in, for fear they might be used as cover for an attack, State Intelligence Agency spokesman Wawan Purwanto said.

Last week two militants stabbed Security Minister Wiranto, a former general who goes by one name, during an official visit to West Java.

READ: Indonesian police ramp up suspect search after stabbing attack on security minister

The 72-year-old was rushed by helicopter to Jakarta, where he was treated for knife wounds to his stomach. He is recovering in hospital.

About 27 suspected militants had been arrested since the attack, said national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo.

Prasetyo also said police seized sharp weapons, explosive materials and chemicals during the raids.

Confiscated items during raids following a knife attack against Indonesian Security Minister Wiranto
Indonesian National Police spokesperson Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo (right) and an aide show photos of evidence of confiscated items during raids following a knife attack against Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on Oct 14, 2019. (Photo: AP/Niniek Karmini)

The arrests took place across the Southeast Asian archipelago of some 260 million people, including in Bali where a father and son were brought in for allegedly planning attacks on the holiday island.

At the weekend, hundreds of mourners and survivors commemorated the 17th anniversary of the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people - Indonesia's deadliest-ever terror attack.

The married couple arrested after Wiranto was attacked were later identified as members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an extremist group responsible for deadly suicide bombings at churches in Surabaya last year that killed a dozen people.

Source: AFP/ec

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