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Indonesia police, militants clash in Aceh province

Police officers carry a colleague wounded in a raid on a suspected terrorist hideout as a part of Indonesian National Police crack down on a potential cell of the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Thursday, March 4, 2010. Indonesian police have charged 14 suspected Islamist militants arrested in restive Aceh province with planning terrorist attacks and shot dead another, an official said Thursday. Police officers carry a colleague wounded in a raid on a suspected terrorist hideout as a part of Indonesian National Police crack down on a potential cell of the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Thursday, March 4, 2010. Indonesian police have charged 14 suspected Islamist militants arrested in restive Aceh province with planning terrorist attacks and shot dead another, an official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)
By Niniek Karmini
Associated Press Writer / March 4, 2010

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JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesian authorities flew 14 alleged terrorists from Aceh to Jakarta on Friday, hours after raiding another group of suspected Islamic militants in the restive province. Police said they were investigating possible links to a terrorist threat to shipping.

A police officer was killed and at least 10 were wounded in the raid Thursday in Aceh's Lamkabeue village, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Aditya Warman told reporters.

Police were investigating whether the militants were linked to a threat to shipping in the nearby Malacca Strait, national police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said in Jakarta, without elaborating.

Singapore's navy warned this week that an unnamed terrorist group was planning attacks on oil tankers in the strait, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Danuri said there were casualties among the militants, but declined to give details.

The battle came during a police crackdown on militants in Aceh suspected of being linked to the Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah.

Police announced Thursday that they have charged 14 suspected militants arrested in Aceh with planning terrorist attacks.

They were flown from Banda Aceh on Friday to national police headquarters in Jakarta for further questioning, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The men were caught in several raids beginning Feb. 22, when four were arrested by police after a gunbattle in a suspected militant training camp in Aceh's mountains, police spokesman Maj. Gen. Edward Aritonang said.

They confessed to undergoing paramilitary training, including weapons use and hand-to-hand combat, at the camp in preparation for a terrorist attack, he said, declining to specify the alleged target.

Under Indonesia's tough counterterrorism laws enacted in 2003, planning a terrorist attack can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.

Another suspect was fatally shot by police after he fled with two men from a bus that was stopped at a police checkpoint early Wednesday, Aritonang said. Witnesses said the other two men escaped.

No other terrorist groups are known to be active in Aceh. Separatist rebels signed a peace agreement with Indonesia's government in 2005, ending 29 years of fighting and making the province semiautonomous. Aritonang said none of the charged suspects belonged to the now-disbanded Free Aceh Movement.