Indonesia launches major counter-terrorism drill
Indonesia on Friday launched a major three-day counter-terrorist exercise in several cities and in the Malacca Strait, reported dpa.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo Adi Sucipto said the operation in the Malacca Strait was designed to show Indonesia's readiness to protect one of the world's busiest waterways. "Security in the Malacca Strait is very important not only for Singapore and Malaysia but also Indonesia ... especially with regard to piracy threats," the state-run Antara news agency quoted Widodo as saying.
National police chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri said more than 6,500 officers from the Indonesian Armed Forces and national police would take part in the counter-terrorist drill.
He said the three-day exercise would prepare police and the armed forces to combat terror attacks on the land, in the air and on the sea.
Indonesia has a history of deadly bombings by Muslim militants and members of the regional al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), but has not suffered a major attack in the past three years. Authorities have arrested more than 400 suspects and convicted most of them, and severely damaged JI's ability to operate.
The anti-terrorist exercise will be held in several big cities on the island of Java, including the capital, Jakarta, and Denparsar, capital of the the Bali resort island..
The drill will include a simulation of a hotel siege following the deadly attacks in Mumbai, where luxury hotels were major targets.
"Terror does not only claim many lives but also causes prolonged trauma and negative impacts on various aspects of life," Danuri said.
"Terror threats can occur anytime and anywhere."