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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           15  July 2011

Indo police find weapons at Islamic school

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Police confiscated explosives, dozens of sharp weapons and bomb-making materials when they were finally able to enter an Islamic boarding school in Bima, Sumbawa Island on Wednesday, two days after a bomb blast killed a man.

Four wired bombs fashioned from empty bottles and four unwired bottle bombs were found around the compound of the Umar bin Khatab school, National Police deputy spokesman Brig. Gen. Ketut Untung Yoga Ana told reporters at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday.

Police also seized 25 arrows, samurai swords and dozens of jihadi materials.

"We are still searching for the perpetrators since the school was empty when we finally managed to enter it on Wednesday," he said.

An officer from the National Police bomb squad, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak, said the bottle bombs could not be categorized as explosives because they were lacking the necessary switches or detonators.

"They were more like Molotov cocktails," the source said.

A homemade bomb exploded in a room at the boarding school on Monday afternoon, killing school treasurer Firdaus, also known as Suryanto Abdullah, who was 30 years old.

Police attempted to search the school for evidence, but the school's management, students and some local residents, many of them reportedly armed with swords and possibly other weapons, barred police from entering the school compound.

Four platoons from the local Mobile Brigade (Brimob) police, the anti-riot squad and members of the Indonesian Armed Forces surrounded the school, where 45 students armed with sticks and machetes were holed up with teachers and an unknown number of supporters.

Police have arrested seven people so far. They were identified as Mustakim Abdullah, 17, Rahmad Ibnu Umar, 36, Rahmat Hidayat, 22, M. Yakub, 26, Julkifli, 23, Muslamin Talib, 38, and Sahrir bin Manhir, 23.

Police in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) said all seven were still being questioned. Of the original 13 people apprehended after the blast, six have since been released.

"The people still incarcerated are those carrying weapons [in Tuesday's standoff with police],"

Son Hadi, a spokesman for Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid, a hard-line group founded by convicted cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, acknowledged the boarding school had links with his organization.


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