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Indonesian Authorities Prevent Two Planned Attacks

by Selwyn Manning and other Asia-Pacific news agencies

Two planned attacks on the United States Embassy in Jakarta have been prevented, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said.

Wirayuda refused to give reporters further details of the planned attacks, except to say: "So far, we have been able to prevent any terrorist acts in Indonesia, including two potential attacks on the United States Embassy as well as other individual (attacks) in Jakarta," he told reporters at a press conference.

News agencies are today reporting how last year, Jakarta police arrested a man they said planned to attack the US Embassy. The building is located across Merdeka (Freedom) Square from the Indonesian presidential palace.

Speculation was yesterday circulating around Jakarta that Osama bin Laden had arrived secretly in the country.

Wirayuda dismissed this: "No, we don't have any such information," he said. "We have very close consultation with countries like the United States. They inform us about any potential entry of terrorists to Indonesia," he told reporters.

Washington had earlier received what it terms "a credible threat" against US fascilities in Indonesia - the world's largest muslim nation of 200 million people. Security was beefed up and the US Embassy in Jakarta was closed indefinitely.

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