Five suspected terrorists were reportedly
killed during police raids at two different locations in Bali
late on Sunday.
Police have yet to issue an official
statement on the nature of the raids and details on the casualties.
The first raid took place at around 10:15
p.m. in a budget hotel, Laksmi, on Jl. Danau
Poso 99X, Sanur. The area is known as one
of the most famous red-light districts in Bali,
where people can easily obtain a cheap room from staff at budget hotels who
rarely ask for valid identification from their guests.
Neighbors said that they heard a burst of
gunfire at around that time.
"Three were killed here and another two
in Soputan," Bali Legislative Council member I Made Arjaya, whose family home
lies just 30 meters away from the site of the first raid, told The Jakarta Post.
Soputan is a street in a densely-populated
area in west Denpasar.
A police source at the scene confirmed
members of the group were believed to have been raising funds for terrorism via
“The five people are part of the group that
masterminded the 2010 CIMB Niaga bank robbery in Medan
(North Sumatra). We have tailed them for
months before we make the raids,” the field operative, who wished to remain
anonymous, told the Post on Sunday.
Police had confiscated firearms, he said,
and some intelligence reports suggested that the group intended to plan
robberies in order to generate money for future terrorist activities.
When asked about more detail of the arrest,
the police source refused to reveal further information Sunday night, as it
could disrupt police investigations.
But Bali Police spokesperson Sr. Comr.
Hariadi later denied that the suspects were terrorists, describing them instead
as professional robbers plotting to commit a heist.
He said that the suspects had been carrying
firearms at the time of the raids. (nvn)