Police officers exchanged fire with terror suspects at a house in Beji village, Temanggung, in Central Java on Friday, but could not verify whether most-wanted terror suspect Noordin M. Top was involved.
Police surrounded the building from around 5 p.m. and the shoot-out began as suspects refused to turn themselves in.
"Hopefully it's Noordin's group because they are our main target. There are three or four people in the house," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Nanan Soekarna said.
"We are still in contact with Detachment 88 *Indonesia's special counterterrorism squad* but haven't received any confirmed information from them," National Police deputy spokesman Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak said, as quoted by Antara.
Earlier, the police arrested two men identified as Aris and Hendra, at their bicycle workshop in Parakan market, Temanggung.
The two are cousins of Tatag, who was arrested by Detachment 88 three years ago. Tatag is the son of Mohzahri, the owner of the house currently surrounded.
However, there was no official statement from police regarding the arrest of Aris and Hendra.
Until late Friday, police were busily working to keep curious villagers at a safe distance of around 500 meters from the house.
Detachment 88 has been standing by, while also preparing a bomb disposal vehicle.
Police have focused their search on regions including Banyumas (Central Java), Cirebon and Kuningan (West Java), Serang (Banten) and Malang (East Java). Further searches were also conducted in regions outside Java such as in Kalimantan, Southeast and South Sulawesi and Halmahera, North Maluku, as police beleived terrorist networks existed in these areas.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said in its report issued late last month that Noordin seemed to have been living in the area since at least 2006, perhaps even earlier, finding shelter and protection from Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)-linked families.
"In previous attacks, *Noordin* has always stayed well away from the bomb site and has never taken a direct field coordination role," the report says.
Noordin is believed to have planned previous bomb attacks on the JW Marriott in Jakarta in 2003, on the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004, and in Bali in 2005.
Noordin and his associates are the main suspects for last month's attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta. Two suicide bombers killed themselves and seven other people, mostly foreigners, in blasts in or close to restaurants in those establishments.
So far, police have arrested more than 200 militants belonging to or associated with the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network since 2002, many with ties to Noordin, who they say has narrowly escaped arrest several times.
Police have distributed photographs of Noordin, and offered a US$100,000 reward for information that leads to his capture. Experts say the militant is likely being concealed by a small network of sympathizers who might not agree with his tactics, but believe they have a duty to shelter him.
Java, home to more than half of Indonesia's 220 million people, has long been the focus in the hunt for Noordin and his associates.
In November 2005, Azahari bin Husin, a top JI bomb maker, was fatally shot by counterterrorism forces in Batu, East Java. Sariyah Jabir, another explosives expert, was killed in April 2006 during a raid on a militant hideout in Central Java.