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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     8 October  2011                    

Mosque bomber suspect arrested

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Indonesia's counter-terrorism police on Saturday arrested at least one suspect in a suicide bombing of a mosque in April, a spokesman said.

The 31-year-old man was one of five on a wanted list connected to the bombing in Cirebon, around 200 kilometers east of Jakarta, which wounded dozens, six of them seriously.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the man, named Heru Komarudin, was arrested from central Jakarta in the early hours of Saturday morning.

An anonymous source from Detatchment 88, an elite counter-terrorism police unit currently questioning Komarudin, told AFP that at least one other suspect had been arrested in Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta.

"We will make an official statement later today," he said.

On April 15, Mohammed Syarif, 32, detonated explosives strapped to his body at a mosque within a police station during a long Friday prayer service.

The dozens wounded in the explosion -- who were mostly policemen, including the Cirebon police chief -- were found with nails, nuts and bolts lodged in their bodies.

Another suspect on the same wanted list, Achmad Yosepa Hayat, executed an almost identical attack on a church in the city of Solo, central Java, on September 25, injuring dozens of others with a similar explosive.

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

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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