Indonesia arrests militant planning bomb strike on Myanmar embassy

November 25, 2016 10:29 PM EST

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Police in Indonesia have arrested a suspected Islamist militant and seized a large quantity of bomb making material that he planned to use in attacks on government buildings and the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta next month, a police spokesman said.

The suspect was identified as Rio Priatna Wibawa, 23, who is believed to be a member of an Indonesian group that supports Islamic State.

Local media reported that the amount of explosives seized would have resulted in a blast twice as powerful as the bomb that killed 202 people in a Bali nightclub in 2002.

Wibawa, who studied agricultural science at university and was unemployed, was a self-taught bomb-maker who had planned to distribute explosives to several places across Indonesia, police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said on Saturday.

Indonesia has seen a string of Islamic State-linked attacks this year, the biggest of which was a gun and bomb assault in the capital Jakarta that killed four people in January.

Authorities are concerned about a resurgence in radicalism and say there are hundreds of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia, home to the biggest Muslim population in the world.

Lately, anger has been mounting in the Muslim-majority nations in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, over a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, leading to demonstrations in several cities, including Jakarta.

(Reporting by Kanuprita Kapoor, Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Himani Sarkar)



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