Indonesia Getting Better on Terror: President

JAKARTA ~ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday that the country’s efforts to prevent terrorism had been showing signs of success.

“We have been increasingly able to prevent and overcome terror actions in our country,” Yudhoyono said in his annual state-of-the-nation address to parliament, on the eve of the country’s 62nd Independence Day.

“We have been able to overcome” acts of terrorism that had worried Indonesians, he said, praising the country’s police and other parties “who have been able to tackle these terrorism threats.”

He said the country was “really serious about preventing terrorism (and) safeguarding the people and the nation” but said the battle against militancy had to go deeper.

“We should not only tackle terrorism on the surface, but we have to touch and overcome its root causes, such as backwardness, poverty, injustice, extremism, radicalism and a culture of violence,” the president said.

Indonesia has made more than 300 arrests of people suspected of involvement in Islamic extremist attacks in the past few years.

It has handed down but not yet carried out the death penalty to three men responsible for bombings on Bali in October 2002 that left 202 people dead, as well as dozens of lengthy jail terms for others.

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