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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 June, 2003, 20:10 GMT 21:10 UK
Indonesia seizes terror suspects
Hambali, the suspects' alleged controller
The 10 allegedly took orders from key suspect Hambali
Indonesian police say they have arrested 10 members of the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) suspected of a bombing campaign against churches and other crimes.

Nineteen people were killed in the Christmas Eve 2000 bomb attacks in the cities of Medan and Pekanbaru on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Chief Detective Lieutenant General Erwin Mapasseng said the 10 had taken orders from Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, who allegedly led JI operations at the time.

Believed to be al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's main agent in the region, Hambali is also suspected by Indonesia of planning the Bali tourist bombings and is still at large.

The 10 suspects were picked up on Sumatra in separate operations between 12 and 16 June.

Eight of them are also suspected of involvement in a bank robbery on 6 May in which two security guards and a driver were shot dead and several thousand dollars were stolen.

The stolen money, police said, had been earmarked for "waging war".

Apart from the church attacks, the detainees are suspected of five other bomb attacks, police said, without giving details.

None of the 10 have yet been charged.

Bali link

To date, more than 30 suspected members of JI have been arrested over the Bali attacks, which killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists.

Three key suspects, including a man called Mukhlas who allegedly took over Hambali's role as JI operations chief, are currently on trial in Bali.

Scores of other JI suspects have been arrested in Indonesia on other charges.


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