Indonesian anti-terrorism forces killed two suspected militants both aged 19 in an armed raid that also left an officer dead after a shoot-out, authorities said on Saturday.
“Two terror suspects were killed in Solo, central Java, on Friday night by the anti-terror police unit Detachment 88. One other was arrested,” national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told reporters.
“They were armed and one of the police officers was also shot dead.”
Police received a tip-off that the men were involved in the fatal shooting of an officer on Thursday night and were planning more attacks, said national police chief Timur Pradopo.
Two weeks earlier, a grenade was also thrown at a Solo police post.
“The men were behind three shootings before Friday’s and they are part of a new group that has links to older terror networks in the area,” Pradopo said.
“Both the men killed were 19 years old,” he told reporters in Solo.
National Counterterrorism Agency chief Ansyaahd Mbai said in a text message the men were part of Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), founded in 2008 by Indonesia’s so-called father of Islamic militancy, Abu Bakar Bashir.
JAT was dubbed a terrorist organisation by the United States earlier this year and has been linked to smaller new terror cells on the island of Java.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the teenagers resisted arrest when they were shot outside a shop in Ngruki village, considered a hotbed of militant activity.
They were “not working alone”, he said.
Detachment 88 has led a long and successful crackdown on militant groups over the last decade, claiming the scalps of some of the country’s most notorious terrorist suspects blamed for major attacks.
The unit has faced criticism, however, for using excessive force and targeting separatists and pro-independence activists.
Muslim-majority Indonesia suffered a series of deadly attacks over the last decade by terror network Jemaah Islamiyah -- blamed for the Bali bombings in 2002 that left 202 dead -- but there has not been a major incident in recent years.