Indonesia arrests militant planning bomb strike on Burma embassy
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Indonesia arrests militant planning bomb strike on Burma embassy

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 Burma 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.

SEE ALSO: Indonesia: Police shoot lone-wolf attacker who carried IS symbol, pipe bombs

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.

SEE ALSO: Indonesia: Islamic State responsible for suicide bombing at Solo police base

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 Burma, leading to demonstrations in several cities, including Jakarta.

Meanwhile, in Burma, local media reported an explosion caused by a homemade water bottle bombs in a government office in the city of Yangon.

 

The Myanmar Times said the blast on Friday evening took place at an immigration office, but caused no injuries as it was a holiday. It says security forces also found another homemade bomb nearby and detonated it safely.

A similar explosion occurred on Thursday at an immigration office in Yangon, and two more on Nov. 17 at a market.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts, and police did not name suspects.

Reporting by Reuters and Associated Press