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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Indonesia opens anti-terror school
By Rachel Harvey
BBC correspondent in Jakarta

Bali bomb attack
The idea was developed after the Bali attack in 2002
Indonesia has opened a new anti-terrorism school in central Java.

The school, partly funded by the Australian government, is designed to be a centre of specialist training for police forces across South-East Asia.

Regional governments have pledged to increase co-operation given continuing threats from Islamic militants.

Indonesia hopes the new school in the region will be an important step in fostering better relations between different police forces.

Centre of excellence

The opening was no simple ribbon-cutting ceremony.

First there was a martial arts demonstration, then a full-scale mock-up of a terror attack on a hotel, complete with ear-splitting explosions.

Special anti-terror police sent to save the day were then dropped into the smoke-filled scene from a helicopter - much to the delight of the watching dignitaries.

It is hoped that Indonesia's new anti-terrorism training school will become a centre of excellence for the region.

Senior police officers from more than 20 countries have already booked in for a three-week course.

The idea for the school developed in the wake of the devastating bomb attacks on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002, in which more than 200 people died.

Australia lost 88 nationals and the country's government has contributed a large chunk of the money to build the centre.

The Bali bombing and a series of other attacks across the region had been blamed on an Islamic militant group called Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Many members of the group have already been arrested, but key suspects remain at large.

The BBC's Rachel Harvey
"Several countries have already booked places at the centre"

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